Botswana: Cabinet Bids Khama Farewell

President Ian Khama (file photo).

Gaborone — As President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama's tenure comes to an end in a week's time, the Vice President, Cabinet ministers on March 24 hosted a grand send-off farewell function befitting a Head of State in Gaborone.

The farewell function was attended by Speaker of National Assembly, present and former Cabinet ministers, senior government officials, and heads of diplomatic missions and President Khama's family members.

The Cabinet showered him with gifts that included a utility car of Toyota Hilux, a machine that prepares soils before planting and a silage cutter.

In his remarks, President Khama said he was deeply grateful and touched by the well-wishers and kind remarks, as well as wonderful, symbolic, generous and meaningful gifts that he has received from citizens.

"Another gift that you gave to me and to this country was how you all contributed to entrench Botswana as one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world. Please let us keep it like that," he said

He said at the beginning of his term there were many hardships that came with his term of office that included electricity and water problems, economic recession, Foot and Mouth Disease and collapse of commodity price that led to closure of mines.

"But I thank God for our diamonds, they saw us through. I thank God also for Debswana for being one of the best run mining companies anywhere in the world," he said.

While reflecting on his tenure in Presidency, he said he was privileged to have presided during the Botswana golden jubilee celebrations in 2016 and launch of Vision 2036.

He said golden jubilee celebrations were a clear demonstration of strong values of Batswana as a nation and commitment and resolve to live those values.

He said the celebrations afforded Batswana a chance to showcase their pride and patriotism.

He said on April 1, 2008, he promised Batswana to serve on a blueprint based on 4Ds; Democracy, Development, Discipline and Dignity and later on added the fifth D of Delivery of service, which he said he served to fulfil.

He said he believed in people-centered democracy to serve the nation diligently and with sincerity.

"I always tried to get first information from Batswana on their needs and concerns as well as feedback generally on the way we are serving them as a government through several forums such as Kgotla, walkabouts and visits. I also encouraged ministers to host dipitso so that they may get direct feedback from the public and to get first-hand information through radio phone-in programmes," he said.

He said this was aimed to ensure that they were cognisant of the mandate they were given by citizens who voted them to office to represent their aspirations.

The President said he was happy for engaging in humanitarian activities through President's Housing Appeal that aimed at assisting the less fortunate with the basic need of shelter.

"It is an initiative I will continue to pursue," he said.

He further thanked all who demonstrated kindness to the less fortunate through their donations.

He however expressed worry over high levels of indiscipline among members of society such as engaging in substance and alcohol abuse as well as abuse of others in social media.

President Khama said he does not disliked media because he was aware that media has the platform to inform and educate, but noted that he was unhappy about media causing unnecessary harm through deliberate false news reporting.

"Freedom of the press does not translate into freedom to misinform. Irresponsible journalism has led to many of the media houses being sued," he said.

He said he would serve as Champion of Vision 2036, patron of sports and culture activities and would also continue to be a conservationist as issues of environment were closer to his heart.

In addition to other roles, President Khama said he would continue to assist in Bogosi as well as charity works under the Lady Khama Charitable Trust.

BOPA

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