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Office of the President (OP)
FAREWELL MESSAGE BY HIS HONOUR THE VICE PRESIDENT
20/07/12

1. Batswana betsho, as you may have already heard last week that I have informed His Excellency the President of my intention to retire from the Vice Presidency on July 31, 2012, I have seen it necessary to come to Mahalapye and personally inform you that indeed when the sun rises on August 1, 2012, I will no longer be Vice President of this Republic.

2. I have arrived at this critical decision due to my failing health, and therefore the arduous task of Vice President was no doubt taking a huge toll on me.

3. I wish to make it abundantly clear that had it not been for my health I was going to carry on as Vice President of this country until the year of our Lord 2014, when we will be expected to go for elections.

4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I am very happy that when I approached His Excellency the President about my intention to step down as Vice President, he did not refuse, but granted my wish.

5. As most of you are aware bagaetsho, I have worked very hard for this country; starting way back in 1960 as a Police Constable and rose through the ranks up to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police in 1971.

6. In 1977 I was called upon to establish the Botswana Defence Force, which I was its Commander until 1989 when I retired to join Parliament as a Specially Elected Member and appointed Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration.

7. I became a Member of Parliament for Mahalapye in 1994, and since then I had made it my number one priority to see to it that this constituency gets its fair share of development.

8. These developments are there for everyone to see.

9. I was also appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994, the portfolio which I held until 2008 when His Excellency the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama appointed me Vice President, the position which I have just informed you I will be stepping from at the end of this month.

10. However, I am fully aware that since the announcement that I asked to retire as Vice President of this Republic was made last week, a lot of you have been asking themselves about what is going to happen to my membership of Parliament.

11. I have therefore decided to take this opportunity today to formally inform you, as well as the rest of Batswana, of my intention going forward.

12. Bagaetsho, I have decided, after thorough consultation with members of my family, to with effect from July 31, 2012, cease to hold the position of Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West constituency.

13. You will appreciate that this is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to take in my entire adult life; it is not different from serving one's spouse of almost 25 years with divorce papers.

14. I therefore wish to appeal to all of us here today to respect this decision, painful as it maybe.

15. Let us know that there comes a time in life when some things have to come to an end.

16. Bagaetsho, ke one ao a ke neng kere re a kopanele mo go la gompieno. PULA!

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