Independence Day Message by Mokgweetsi Masisi President of Botswana
1. My fellow citizens, today we mark the 52nd Anniversary of the Independence of our beloved country. As we celebrate our existence as an independent and sovereign nation, we also take pride in the fact that Botswana has remained united and peaceful since 1966.
2. Therefore, on this occasion, we have every reason to celebrate our past with a deep sense of fulfilment and happiness. We must give thanks and acknowledgement to our past leaders; Sir Seretse Khama, Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, Dr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, and our most recent Former President Lt. Gen. Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, for their devotion to this our Republic. It is also time for us as a nation to look into the future with confidence, renewed hope, and commitment to achieve our set goals of achieving “Prosperity for All”, as espoused in our National Vision 2036.
3. Whilst we will be spending our time on this historic day visiting family and friends, and undertaking various activities, we should not lose sight of the significance of the day. The fact that Botswana has had visionary leadership during its early years who were able to preside over the affairs of this nation from humble beginnings and through turbulent and trying times, is a legacy bequeathed on all of us to emulate.
4. Our adherence to shared values and principles, particularly the respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and the spirit of consultation and Botho, have always guided us in charting the future of this great country.
5. Botswana continues to enjoy peace and relative prosperity as a result of commitment to these values and principles.
6. It is indeed evident that we have to apply our concerted efforts as a nation to ensure the material and social wellbeing of Batswana, in which no one is left behind.
7. As we celebrate our own record of impressive economic growth and development over five decades, let us take cognisance of both the domestic and global challenges that we still face as a nation.
8. Let us be mindful of our responsibility as individuals to protect and jealously guard our national values and principles which have kept us together for a long time.
9. An important responsibility of citizens in a vibrant democracy such as ours, is the exercise of the right and duty to vote in national elections.
10. To this end,
11. I therefore, encourage every Motswana to register to vote so that next year they will be able to exercise their constitutional right to choose their political leadership.
12. I also wish to remind you that your participation in national elections will as usual, unite us in our commitment to sustain the democratic values and practices that have kept us together since 1966.
13. Fellow citizens, our democracy remains rooted in our adherence to the Constitution, which is the legal guarantor of our collective responsibilities to each other as citizens as well as the individual liberties that we all enjoy.
14. I therefore, wish to reiterate my commitment to respect the Constitution, as I did during my Inauguration Address, and I appeal to all Batswana to do the same.
15. As I outlined in my Inauguration Speech, we are committed to build a Botswana in which sustained development is underpinned by economic diversification, sustainable economic growth, employment creation and investment in human capital, for building a prosperous and inclusive society. This is informed by our desire to eradicate poverty with the ultimate goal of sustaining a society that provides opportunity and dignity for all.
16. We continue to face a myriad of challenges such as unemployment, poverty, crime, HIV and AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse, amongst others. Violent crimes against women are a great cause for concern and Government will take the necessary steps to address the menace.
17. To this end, Government will redouble its efforts to ensure that all the challenges outlined above are addressed in a robust and effective manner, through appropriate policies and programmes.
18. In conclusion, I would like to confirm that I am confident about our ability as Batswana to overcome challenges in order to achieve our set goals and national aspirations.
19. Let us pray to God for good rains as we approach the next rainy season. I therefore urge all farmers to move timely in order to take advantage of the rains.
20. May all of us enjoy a happy and safe 52nd Independence Anniversary, while we recommit our resolve, with God’s guidance, to take this country to greater heights.
21. I thank you.
22. God bless you.