LOBATSE: Lobatse mayor, Malebogo Kruger and the town residents welcomed the Botswana 50th anniversary roving touch yesterday.
Receiving the Golden Jubilee torch, Kruger said the movement was a big sign of victory since Botswana started with nothing.
“When our forefathers occupied this country we were nothing other than a desert and they significantly took the country to where it is, particularly the three chiefs. The three chiefs spearheaded development because they had faith in themselves and in their ambitions for this country. I therefore edge Batswana to retrospect themselves and contribute meaningfully for the betterment of our country,” Kruger said.
The roving torch continued to tour different monuments and historic places around Lobatse; first stopping at the old Lobatse town council offices where different speakers described the site as a place that gave birth to the town. The next stop was Botswana’s oldest hospital, Athlone, where the former hospital matron and ex-Lobatse town mayor, Rosemary Bosilong expressed dissatisfaction over poor infrastructure of the hospital.
Bosilong said Athlone Hospital is in a dilapidated state and needs immediate attention. “I worked here for a long time as a hospital matron and the hospital has undergone several renovations and uplifts but I am sure the doors were last painted when I retired many years ago.
As we turn 50 years in a year’s time, I want to sensitise the government to consider renovating this hospital. This hospital is a mother hospital to most hospitals in the country and gave birth to many professionals, it can’t be left like this,” said Bosilong. From there the touch was taken to the Botswana Meat Commission and the Lobatse Post Office where officials said they facilitated communication in the then Bechuanaland for a long time pre and after independence. Next stop was the historic Botswana Railways Lobatse station where the station master, Ishmael Molutsi said they have empowered Botswana’s economy through bulk goods delivery. Molutsi further said they are promising Batswana a 50th anniversary gift of a public transport train next year.
“We have since at the beginning Botswana independence and prior to it empowered the country’s economy with a consistent bulk good delivery system that began in Lobatse.
We also promise Batswana a public transport passenger train service next year and this present will be announced during the 50th independence anniversary celebrations,” Molutsi said.
The proceedings of the day ended at Botswana’s first town Kgotla, Peleng, where Lobatse residents attended in large numbers.
The historic rich township that gave birth to the now Botswana will host the torch for three days. It will then embark on a 35 kilometre journey to Pitsane Thursday and continue travelling in the southern part of the country for the next weeks.