Gaborone — Religion plays a distinct role on how a nation governs itself, therefore the state and the church ought to be partners in pursuance of common good, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
Speaking at installation ceremony of Reverend Frank Nubuasah as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Gaborone on August 17, President Masisi said partnership between the state and the church was something that Botswana's founding fathers were cognizant of when laying the foundation of governance structures.
"Similarly the constitution of Botswana guarantees freedom of religion and there is no doubt that the Christian doctrine has had great influence in the formulation of our policies, programme and laws as about 70 per cent of Batswana identify themselves as Christians," he said.
Dr Masisi, who was accompanied by the First Lady, Ms Neo Masisi, said Vision 2036 recognised that faith was the foundation upon which society built its moral and ethical standards for social development and cohesion.
He, therefore, said the vision envisaged a situation where Batswana would be morally upright and tolerant of one another irrespective of gender, religion, and disability, among other things.
He noted that the nation acknowledged and appreciated the contribution of the Roman Catholic Church to the socio-economic development of the country.
Dr Masisi said the church had also taken a firm position regarding issues such as poverty eradication and climate change as elaborated in the Global Development Agenda.
President Masisi said the church had been embroiled in allegations of sexual abuse in some countries something, which had tarnished its good name.
However, he said there had not been any reports of sexual abuse in the catholic church of Botswana and encouraged the congregants to continue upholding the principles of Christ.
"I urge all of us to internalise what it means to be Christ-like. Let us proudly claim the values of our forefathers and march forth with confidence. I truly believe this will lead to a corrupt-free Botswana, a prosperous Botswana, where no citizen lives in poverty or misery. Let us jealously guard against any deceptive acts aimed to stray our path from our God ordained destination," said President Masisi.
He assured the gathering that Bishop Nubuasah had a wealth of experience that would contribute to development of the Roman Catholic Church and the welfare of Batswana in general.