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Palapye remembers President Khama

As President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama bids Palapye farewell today (February 9), residents will live to remember the legacy he leaves behind.

Parting ways is never easy.

However, residents will find solace in the fact that President Khama laid a foundation for them in the form of developments.

Among those they cherish is the country’s second university, Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), which was constructed amidst the global economic recession, which saw government deferring some projects.

In spite of the difficult situation that befell the country, government took a bold decision to continue with the BIUST project as a national strategic initiative to transform the country’s economy from a resource-based to a knowledge based economy through skills capacity building in Engineering, Science and Technology.

Director of communications, Mr Keoagile Rafifing expressed gratitude to government for undertaking BIUST project despite the global economic recession that eroded government’s revenue.

He said they would not want to disappoint government and the nation and would do their best to achieve their mandate, particularly that of assisting the country in diversifying the economy.

He said BIUST also created employment in Palapye with staff complement standing at 500.

At full capacity, Mr Rafifing said BIUST would enroll about 6 000 students including undergraduate, Msc and PhD students, while currently student enrollment stood at 1 900.

“The university is engaged in building strong relationships with the community and continues to engage the community in various projects,” he said.

The multi-billion 600MW coal-fired Morupule B Power Station and Morupule Coal Mine are also the pride of Palapye. Morupule Coal Mine in particular contributed immensely in improving the economic status of Palapye.

The mine did not only provide employment for the community, but has also led to the mushrooming of businesses, giving Palapye a facelift.

The upcoming Morupule C and Morupule Coal Mine expansion are expected to create even more employment for Palapye and villages in the periphery.

Also, Palapye has been declared a special economic zone for the purpose of integrated coal value addition. Special Economic Zones are geographically distinct economic areas, providing an investor- friendly business environment that will make this country a preferred location for both domestic and foreign investment.

In addition to development projects, Palapye community has benefited on programmes aimed at improving the livelihoods of Batswana that were initiated by President Khama, notably poverty eradication, presidential housing appeal, ISPAAD, Youth Development Fund and Constituency Arts Competitions, from which Palapye residents benefited immensely.

Mr Mopati Tshupelo, a 26-year-old living with disability said there was a lot to be thankful for under President Khama’s administration.

He said the Disability Office under the Office of the President helped him secure a plot in Palapye and facilitated its development by luring companies through the Presidential Housing Appeal initiative to construct a house for him.

Mr Tshupelo’s house, which was built by Morupule Coal Mine was handed over to him last year after many years of paying high rentals in Palapye.

Mr Tshupelo, who earns a living through music, was also assisted by President Khama to get a new key board and proudly stated that ‘the President bought me my first key board’.

He also received P3 000 cash from the Office of President to record an album.

“My life has changed for the better and I am really grateful for what the President has done for me,” he stated.

The Presidential Housing Appeal initiative made a mark in Palapye Administration Authority where 24 families were assisted with shelter.

The housing appeal, which is the brain child of President Khama, was established with the aim to provide shelter to the less privileged members of society.

Government departments, private sector, parastatal organisations, churches and individuals heeded the President’s call to help the less privileged.

President Khama’s love for his people was held with high regard not only by the elderly, but also touched the young.

The youth of Palapye are happy that President Khama had the interest of the youth at heart and taught them how to catch fish through programmes such as Youth Development Fund, Tirelo Sechaba and President’s Day Competitions.

Palapye Youth Centre chairperson, Mr Thabo Dimeku said Tirelo Sechaba programme created employment for the out of school youth and equipped them with skills. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Kgotsofalang Botsang

Location : PALAPYE

Event : President Farewell Tour

Date : Feb 08 Thu,2018

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