Khama Pays Glowing Tribute to Merafhe

| January 17, 2015

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has described the former vice president, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe as a great leader who was committed to his country.

President Khama, who was speaking at the funeral of his former deputy today (January 17), praised him for touching the lives of many. He said Lt Gen. Merafhe distinguished himself as a diligent, industrious, good hearted and selfless individual who was always willing to assist others.

“He was also very spirited, humorous, meticulous and most importantly he pursued a principled journey,” said President Khama, adding that it was these attributes that saw Lt Gen. Merafhe rise from humble beginnings to the position of Vice President.

In recognition of his immense contribution and unwavering commitment to the service of this Republic, President Khama said he bestowed upon General Merafhe the highest honour in the country, Naledi ya Botswana.

General Merafhe was also recognised internationally thus putting Botswana in good light. The President said whilst Lt Gen. Merafhe joined the Bechuanaland Police Force as a constable, he was later to be the first citizen Deputy Commissioner of Police.

He said the former VP then became the founding commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) when in “1977 he was entrusted by Botswana’s first President with the task of moulding a modern defence force in the shadow of conflict along the country’s borders.”

“He led the defence force at a time when Botswana was surrounded by the hostile minority,” said President Khama stating that what gave the country strength and peace of mind at the time was the leadership of General Merafhe in the BDF.

“I of course had the good fortune of having served with him in these formative years and can attest to the fact that it was his shrewdness that helped Botswana survive antagonistic neighbours, in a very hostile sub-region,” said President Khama.

President Khama said it was not surprising that Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) identified General Merafhe as a unique talent, which could add value to leadership of the party.

“I believe that the people of Mahalapye were lucky to have had such a man as their representative, for he was a champion of democracy, people’s welfare and always put them at the forefront.”

At the beginning of his administration, the President said he announced that General Merafhe would play a leadership role in directly overseeing the implementation of strategy across all ministries.

In this regard the President said the General, during his time as VP, succeeded in overcoming the complacency and business as usual instincts of others in his efforts to instill a culture of enhanced public service delivery. President Khama thanked General Merafhe’s family for the many sacrifices they made when the General served the nation.

“Gen. Merafhe’s legacy will live with us the people of Botswana forever. There is no doubt that he had a profound impact in the lives of many Batswana.”

For his part, the immediate past former Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, thanked the Merafhe family for having taken good care of a man who contributed immensely to the development of this country.

Dr Kedikilwe, who is also the BDP chairman, said General Merafhe enhanced inner party democracy and interaction. He loved leadership, he knew how to lead and even when he was assigned a big responsibility within the part he would carry it out meticulously, noted Dr Kedikilwe.

General Merafhe was born on June 6, 1936 in Serowe and he died on January 7, 2015. The General is survived by his widow and five children, two boys and three girls and 10 grandchildren.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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