By Segametsi Kebonang/Gov. of Botswana
The country’s law enforcement agencies have been commended for the sterling job they are doing in combating poaching and other cross border crimes.
President Seretse Khama Ian Khama said that the crimes threaten tourism which is Botswana’s mainstay of economy. He said this when officiating at the Commissioning Parade for Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Officer Cadets Class 37 of 2013/14, in Gaborone on June 24.
He applauded the BDF and other law enforcement authorities in their continuous effort to combat these crimes. President Khama said he was glad that this year’s graduates syllabus contained lessons on anti-poaching operations aimed at capacitating them with the requisite skills to deal with the threat.
He emphasised that today’s military is not only faced with conventional threats but rather threats that are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
Understanding the new threat which is termed VUCA is key and cannot be overemphasised in safe guarding territorial integrity. President Khama told the graduates that military training by nature requires a high level of dedication, discipline and perseverance. He noted that the successful training that the officers have gone through testifies their strength, character and determination to pursue a career in the military.
Graduates were advised that it is mandatory that they subscribe to the BDF values which are duty, integrity, espirit de-corps and discipline which guide the conduct and behaviour of all its members. Out of the 106 graduates, President Khama awarded five officers with medals for their outstanding performance during training.
Senior under officer Tshepo Chilume got the leadership medal, while Officer Cadets Keletso Raditloko and Kenneth Masilo got the Motivated Officer award and Commandant’s award respectively. Under officers Tshepang Molatlhegi and Simon Hamkupolo got the distinguished honour graduate and Best International Student Award respectively.
The aim of the 12 months basic training for Officer Cadets was to develop basic military skills and knowledge required of a young officer on first appointment. The course also aimed at building officer cadets’ physical and mental robustness for carrying out military duties as well as to develop leadership qualities and skills of interpersonal communication and personal management in the officers.
In pursuit of good neighbourliness and the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) policy, 12 international students from Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia also graduated. “This affirms our commitment to our armed forces cooperation within the SADC region,” he said.
During their training, the graduates bought clothes and toiletries to 452 school children of Mothamo Junior Secondary School in Moiyabana, a gesture that President Khama applauded as upholding the Vision 2016 pillar of a compassionate, just and caring nation.