Mmegi Online :: Morake given fitting send-off
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Thursday 19 October 2017, 16:39 pm.
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Morake given fitting send-off

TONOTA: The who-is-who of Botswana descended on the village for the funeral of former cabinet minister and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwart, Kebatlamang Morake, 86, on Sunday morning.
By Lebogang Mosikare Tue 05 Sep 2017, 15:06 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Morake given fitting send-off








Former president, Festus Mogae, politicians from across the political spectrum, captains of the industry, commander of Botswana Defence Force, former and current Permanent Secretaries (PS), schoolchildren and Batswana from all walks of life came to pay their last respects to the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Mmadinare.

Funerals are normally somber occasions, but at the funeral of ‘Baby Shoes’, as Morake was affectionately nicknamed, laughter dominated the proceedings as his colleagues in government and politics remembered their fallen colleague. Mogae made the funeral attendants roar with laughter when he mentioned that he turned 78 years three days back, and he was also about to meet his maker.

Mogae said Morake’s contribution to the education sector and government cannot be overemphasised.

“Most senior BDP politicians started as teachers. I am just reiterating what other speakers before me said. In the 1950s Morake taught us how to read and write English. He also facilitated many of us to attend overseas universities,” said Mogae. On behalf of the BDP, former Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe said Morake’s contribution to the development of Botswana and BDP is dotted throughout the country.

“Morake’s selflessly worked for the BDP. He departed as a member of the BDP’s council of elders. He was the party’s first executive secretary in 1966. I owe Morake because he was once an MP for my area. I owe him a lot because he had worked very hard in the constituency which made BDP to retain it after every elections since independence,” Kedikilwe said.

The mourners erupted into fits of laughter when Kedikilwe reminisced how a contingent from the then local police whipped Morake during a BDP congress after mistaking him for a youth because of his small body stature.

The local police, Kedikilwe said, were called to restore order after some BDP youth caused disturbances during lunchtime before elders could eat. “Morake was whipped because the local police members mistook him for one of the youths who were causing disturbances. Apparently, the

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local police members did not recognise Morake hence he ended up on their receiving end. We thank God for having given us the opportunity to work with a great man like Morake,” the former Vice President said.

MP Shaw Kgathi also cracked the ribs of mourners when narrating how Morake said his small body stature benefited him in many ways.

Kgathi recalled what Morake told him during his days as a schoolteacher.

He said that one day seeing that his school team was losing against the team it was playing with, Morake could not fathom that and he ended up putting on his football kit to save his team from defeat.

“Morake said he then substituted a student and played as a defender. He said the fortunes of his team changed for the better. He told me that teachers and players from the team that his school team was playing against did not recognise that he was a teacher thanks to his small body frame,” said Kgathi.

Kgathi also recalled another incident in which Morake told him how thieves broke into his house and mistook him for a child because of his small body stature.

“Morake told me that after the thieves broke into his house, he recoiled in his bed under his blankets in great fear. Morake said that when thieves came to his bedroom, they mistook him for a child saying that parents have left a small child alone in the house thanks to his small body,” Kgathi said.

Former Permanent Secretary in the then ministry of local government, Ben Makobole described Morake as intrinsically intelligent.

“Morake was my boss in the ministry. He was like a parent to all his subordinates. He treated us very well that resulted in his ministry drastically improving. His death is a great loss to the nation,” said Makobole.

Other speakers also described Morake as someone who helped people in different ways during his ministerial days and after he retired from active politics.

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