Saturday, December 5, 2009

Speech by Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Honourable Dikgakgamatso Seretse at the Botswana Defence Force Honours and Awards Ceremony

source: Republic of Botswana (2/12/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 28 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery


1. The honour is mine today to be standing here to congratulate you on a job well done. You have done yourself the Organization and indeed the country proud.

2. Today’s ceremony is a manifestation of your commitment to deliver on your promise and to the expectation of your clients. It also symbolizes the team spirit without which we would not be bestowing the honours on you. While we honour the recipients today, we should encourage those who could not make the mark.

3. Team work in the military is like swimming is to fish. Your success while credited to you, by bestowing the honours on you, is equally attributable to those that facilitated your success through team spirit. Those who did not make it are your companions. They remain your competitors and it is through them that you should mirror your successes. They too have to be encouraged to work extra hard to attain the greatest of their abilities in order to be victors.

4. To the unsuccessful, your inability to make the mark should not discourage you and should never be an obstacle but rather a lesson and a propellant to greater heights. I therefore, take this opportunity to express my pleasure once more to be here officiating on this milestone event to award those who made it their duty to ensure that they dedicated their all and delivered to expectation.

5. In his recent inauguration speech, His Excellency the President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama raised his concern about service delivery in the general workforce prompting him to include a fifth ‘D’ for DELIVERY in his road map for the development of this country. To you, the men and women in uniform “DELIVERY” is your culture and indeed the Presidents plea has come home.

6. The President implored Batswana to add an extra effort in their work place to improve delivery in order to reduce undue delay in project and work completion. I also challenge you to go back and put extra effort in order to beat your best mark. Never gloat in your success always aim to perform better than your recent best. Athlete Usain Bolt, takes pride in beating his own 200m record a couple of times.

7. The military as a career demands more than one can bargain for. I have been there and I can bear witness to the strenuous nature of this duty that always requires one to be a team leader, a good follower and a committed team player.

8. You have pledged and committed to protecting our constitutional democracy and the territorial integrity of this great nation. This has taken you away from your loved ones for months on end, but your sacrifices, commitment and selflessness have seen you through these daunting military demands.

9. Today, you work side by side with some of your civilian compatriots who have joined you as supporting staff, doing what you may not perform at some required time when duty calls or that which may not be your core business.

10. The civilian component of the military is key to the military mission and must likewise be commended and rightfully share in the success and achievements of the men and women in uniform.

11. Distinguished guests, let me conclude my address by quoting a Greek philosopher named Plato, who said, “virtue is the highest moral thought and conduct that demands the subordination of individual wishes and aims.” You have subordinated your rights as citizens of this great nation to the safety, security and protection of the greater population. My heart goes out to you and let me convey my sincere heartfelt congratulations’ for a job well done. May you also be a foundation upon which those coming after you will build upon. I am proud to have been associated with this great organisation at one time in my life.

12. With those few remarks, we may now bestow the awards on the recipients. I thank you.

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