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INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGE 30 SEPTEMBER, 2017

 

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY LT. GEN. DR SERETSE KHAMA IAN KHAMA PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 51ST ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE - "UNITED AND PROUD" (30/9/17)

My fellow citizens, it is with great pride that I once again communicate with you on this auspicious occasion as we celebrate our 50+1 years of Independence.

Last year marked the golden jubilee celebrations of Independence and Batswana from all walks of life demonstrated a profound sense of patriotism, unity and great pride of our heritage.

Celebrating 50 years was a milestone that helped us to take stock of our achievements as a country.

To this end, our accomplishments in the last 5 decades, that saw Botswana develop from a very poor, least developed country, to attain upper middle-income status, will act as a baseline for our future developmental endeavours in this regard.

Consequently, we launched our new and 2nd long term Vision 2036 last year, which encapsulates our fundamental values and principles.

Our modesty as a Republic, is what has driven this economy and the Vision of our founding fathers of a democratic, non-racial and self-reliant nation.

Taking into consideration the geo-politics subsisting at the time of our independence, it goes without saying that the attainment of self-determination was indeed an onerous task, a near impossible mission that many in the world thought would be a still-born project.

As we celebrate our progress over the past fifty-one years, let us use this moment as an opportunity to reflect, as well as plan on what we can do to achieve more going into the next 50 years.

Our theme, this year spells continuity and has thus remained the same as that of the previous year, “United and Proud.”

We need to hold on to our culture and traditions and preserve these ideals, for they define who we are as a nation.

They give us identity and pride, as well as uniqueness, in the process describing who we are as a country.

We should therefore continue to sell our culture and tradition to others and proudly, truly represent Botswana, as well as what we stand for in this respect.

We cannot afford to rest on our laurels based on past achievements, we need to do more to spring this country into the future.

As we celebrate today, we should note that it is because our founding fathers had resilience and proved willing and able to overcome challenges of the past, through perseverance and hard work.

We have received accolades in terms of development indices, but we should not become complacent as a result of our success, but need to dig deep and inculcate that culture of resilience and hard work as reflected in the history of this nation at inception.

It is that time when we should reflect on some of the core values such as botho that have built our society and reinvigorate them so that we progress and overcome some of our key challenges.

Most importantly, we should be mindful not to let our differences in whatever issue divide us as a nation.

We ought to find common denominators that should bring us together for the advancement of our country and people.

Nation building is a continuous process, in this respect, all issues, bitter or sweet, should be able to assist us in our endeavours towards this noble cause of nation building.

To this end, we should commend our people who offer essential services as well as our Brand Ambassadors such as our athletes, and others who represent us and fly our flag high in the international arena.

Always ensure that whatever you say or do is said or done in the best interests of the country and its people.

As we celebrate 50+1 years, it will be recalled that our values as a nation, starting from the pre-independence era are premised on our democracy and good governance, as well as peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.

Our norms of mutual respect, tolerance and a culture of consultation underlined by our Kgotla system have helped us nurture our peace and democracy.

Sustaining our unity in diversity calls for continued adherence to these fundamental values.

My fellow citizens, before I conclude, I would like to thank all Batswana for their continued demonstration of patriotism through donning of the blue, white and black of the Botswana flag on Fridays.

This is indeed a clear illustration of your love and commitment to this great Republic.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank all those who are not able to go and celebrate because they are committed through providing services to the population in general.

We also remember and wish speedy recovery to those who are in hospital.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that we should continue to pray to the Almighty for His blessings. We should continue to pray for rain and a good yield.

We should continue to pray for everlasting peace and ask the Lord to bless our children for they are the future of this great nation.

We pray that they continue to be proud of our nation’s heritage, as a diverse and united family.

Finally, I would like to express profound gratitude to the organisers of BOT 50+1 and all participants. May God bless you all!!! PULA ! PULA ! PULA!

Source : BGCIS

Author : BGCIS

Location : GABORONE

Event : Bot50+1 Independence Day Celebrations

Date : Sep 30 Sat,2017

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