Masire was worka­holic, ami­able, car­ing

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZIGGY MOGOPODI

FORMER pres­i­dent of Botswana Dr Fes­tus Mo­gae, pic­tured, has de­scribed his pre­de­ces­sor Sir Ke­tu­mile Masire as a worka­holic, an avid reader and hu­mor­ous.

Speak­ing at the memo­rial ser­vice for the late Masire yes­ter­day, Mo­gae said Masire en­gaged as many stake­hold­ers as pos­si­ble in his de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.

“He sought the views of civil ser­vants and cabi­net mem­bers be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion, and would de­fer a de­ci­sion by rhetor­i­cally say­ing

“A ga rea e bua?”, mean­ing ‘Didn’t we dwell on the mat­ter?’.

“He was a worka­holic, an avid reader who would read at 3am, and would ring you at 3 in the morn­ing to seek your in­put.”

Former vice-pres­i­dent of Botswana Dr Ponat­shego Kedik­ilwe (2011-2014) de­scribed Masire as a man who loved ed­u­ca­tion. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Tiger Kloof School in South Africa, Masire re­turned to Botswana to serve the govern­ment at a time when Batswana were get­ting their univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Botswana, Le­sotho and Swazi­land. The univer­sity was oper­at­ing from Le­sotho. “Masire was at the fore­front of the con­struc­tion of the Univer­sity of Botswana through a cam­paign called ‘Motho le motho kgomo’, which means that each in­di­vid­ual should con­trib­ute a cow to raise funds for the project. “He ap­pealed to the na­tion to con­trib­ute any­thing to build the in­sti­tu­tion. The re­sponse was over­whelm­ing,” Kedik­ilwe said. Masire’s el­dest daugh­ter, Gaone, was called to the podium to re­ceive his univer­sity chan­cel­lor robe in remembrance of her fa­ther’s con­tri­bu­tion to an ed­u­cated and in­formed na­tion.

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