Matsiloje — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, also Commander in Chief of the Botswana Armed Forces, on March 13 toured the Matsiloje Military Training Camp to get firsthand information on its operations and challenges.
President Masisi was taken on the tour which covered the administration block, library, classrooms, kitchen, accommodation block, water tank, gym room and clinic by the commandant, Colonel Keebine Kgakge.
Colonel Kgakge informed the President that the purpose of the facility, also known as Silker, which was formerly a Tati Nickel Mining Company village, was to augment BDF training facilities.
"The facility was rehabilitated and renovated to meet the BDF training specifications. The classrooms that were previously used as design rooms, kitchen and offices by the Tati Nickel Company have since been converted into a library, lecture hall, classrooms and staff rooms," he said.
Colonel Kgakge further explained that some structures were modified to meet the set standard for a health post which was currently manned by a retired BDF nurse.
"Serious cases are referred to the BDF clinic in Donga Camp where there are military doctors. A change room for the mine workers had been transformed into a gym manned by a qualified instructor, he said.
Col Kgakge said the kitchen, with a capacity for serving 2 500 was a challenge because a good number of pots were no longer in a serviceable state due to unavailability of spare pars locally adding that the problem extended to cold rooms and fridges.
The water tank, he said, was newly commissioned and was connected to the Matsiloje village pipeline which was not big enough to supply the two villages.
He however said plans were underway for the BDF to have its own pipeline.
Col Kgakge informed the President that the facility was used by other institutions citing a recent training camp for brigade heads organised by the Ministry of Employment, Labour, Productivity and Skills Development.
The camp is currently running an officer cadet course which started in January scheduled for commissioning in December.
The course has a total of 85 recruits comprising 65 males and 20 females.
Accompanying the President was Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Mr Shaw Kgathi, BDF commander Lt General Placid Segokgo, the ministry's incoming and outgoing permanent secretaries Ms Matshediso Bokole and Ms Segakweng Tsiane respectively as well as senior government officials and high ranking BDF officers.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>