Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remarks by His Excellency the President, Lt.Gen.Seretse Khama Ian Khama, at a Luncheon hosted in Honour of Members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi

source: Republic of Botswana (18/6/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 16 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


Assistant Ministers - Local Government
Permanent Secretary to the President
Modulasetilo wa Ntlo Ya Dikgosi - Kgosi Puso Gaborone Dikgosi

1. Let me welcome you and thank you for accepting my invitation to this luncheon, the purpose of which is simply to interact as we have not had an opportunity to do so since we last met in June 2008.

2. I wish to assure you that were it not for the time constraint, I would have liked to spend more time with you and discuss pertinent issues that affect our society today and chart the way forward. However I am confident that at your next meeting we will find time to meet again and discuss such issues.

3. At our last meeting Government commissioned the Joint Advisory Committee of Ntlo ya Dikgosi and Botswana Council of Churches on Social Values which was led by Kgosi Gaborone. The Task Force had a mandate to inter alia, consult with the public to determine the causes of social ills afflicting the nation such as domestic violence, rape, child abuse, youth indiscipline, alcohol abuse e.t.c. and recommend possible strategies for addressing them. The Task Force also had to determine the role that can be played by traditional leaders and other community leaders in re-instilling social values.

4. Allow me therefore to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Task Force for the tremendous work done.

5. As you are aware a report has since been submitted to my office. The report contains a number of recommendations which have since been accepted by Government as reflected in the White Paper. One of the recommendations calls for the empowerment of Dikgosi, but does not specify exactly what form of empowerment is sought. Because of this Government could not readily address this aspect of the recommendations. In this regard we expect you to recommend areas in which you want empowerment.

6. That notwithstanding, I am hopeful that through this exercise we will reverse the adverse effects of the disintegration of our societal values and further strengthen our four D's.

7. Government must recognize the important role that you all play as part of the leadership of this country. As you are aware, Ntlo ya Dikgosi as an institution, is a statutory body of our constitution. Therefore the role that you play as Dikgosi is essential on matters affecting our day to day lives.

8. In a country such as ours it is evident that chieftaincy therefore plays a very critical role in the pursuit of prosperity, tranquillity and stability. It is for this reason that we should jealously protect and guard against its erosion at all cost.

9. Once again let me take this opportunity to commend the task Force for its valued work. I have no doubt that this concerted effort and renewed commitment to have a re-look of our society will propel us in the desired direction and indeed bring about much needed change.

10. As Government we are committed to continuous engagement with you on areas of mutual concern and benefit, and I look forward to such collaboration and guidance in shaping Botswana into an envy of many a nation. I thank you.

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