Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi on Saturday joined the army high command for the BDF Day Mess Night, where Deputy Commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Major General Gotsileene Morake thanked him for his unwavering commitment to the welfare of men and women in uniform.
Maj. Gen. Morake said the army was thankful for the great and visible interest President Masisi took on the force.
"Recently in your address to troops in Francistown you said and I quote, 'I will always lead from the front when it comes to my role as Commander-in-Chief'. In the past few weeks, you have visited many of the garrisons and base camps of the BDF, addressed troops, inspected the facilities and assessed defence capabilities. Let me also on behalf of the members of the BDF thank you very much for also addressing the conditions of service of the soldiers, their morale is very high and yes we are back in fashion," he said.
General Morake said as the government was taking proper care of the defence force, the organisation ought to be professional, ready and live up to the history and reputation of its past or even surpass it.
"We have to ensure that we are ready to deal with the challenges of the contemporary operating environment as well as be ready to undertake any operational assignment that may be given to us. That is part of our obligation in the social contract, or the military covenant, which demands that the state looks after its troops who in turn should be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice," said General Morake.
He said his organisation was making efforts towards aligning its strategies to feed into the national grand vision.
He said they had signed a Memorandum of Agreement with BIUST to improve their collaboration into the area of research and development as well as to harness the expertise to enhance the national effort towards a knowledge-based economy.
"We are coming up with welfare programmes to help members of the BDF to own property so that they have dignified lives after retirement. Let me formally thank you and your government for your approval of the new salary structures and the decision to have a separate BDF pension scheme that will significantly improve the lives of our members during service and upon retirement. This will go a long way in fighting poverty among fellow citizens," he added.
The Mess Night followed the day's celebration of BDF's 42 years of existence themed: Our Common Future.
As tradition would dictate, the BDF band dished out serenading musical pieces in the likes of popular ballad, Wonderful Tonight, by Eric Clapton, which was released in 1977, the year BDF was born.
Source : BOPA