Due to financial constraints BDF (Botswana Defence Force) Day was not celebrated in Francistown or Selebi-Phikwe.
This year the 37th anniversary celebrations were only held at Gaborone’s national stadium and at the Sir Seretse Khama barracks.
The day is normally characterized by marching bands, tugs of war, obstacle courses, parades and many other activities.
Gaborone has not been doing these activities for the past six years due to the fact that the stadium was closed for renovation.
Speaking during mess night, 2nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier Molefhi Seikano said resources permitting they will revive the memories of previous anniversaries in these two locations.
Otherwise their valuable followers will be informed of a shift from the norm if in future BDF settle for one celebration only in Gaborone.
“This day is the commemoration of an enormous collective effort which began in 1997 when the parliament approved a legislation establishing BDF. At that time all southern Africa states were either involved or affected by liberation wars. A year after its formation we lost 15 soldiers with their boots on in the infamous Lesoma ambush,” said Seikano.
He commended the first BDF Commander Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe for setting a compass bearing that other commanders had followed and committed to building a national professional army.
He said BDF did not inherit a defence infrastructure, so in no doubt Merafhe worked very hard to lay a solid foundation in which the army firmly stands on.
“BDF officers stand watch round the clock in border operations throughout the country to protect Botswana’s national resources and other treasures that form part of our national interest. Those manning garrisons and on leave are all ready to be called upon and go the extra mile by reinforcing deployments in border operations if need be,” he added.