P1.5 BILLION TO COMPENSATE RETIRED BDF MEMBERS

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P1.5 BILLION TO COMPENSATE RETIRED BDF MEMBERS
P1.5 BILLION TO COMPENSATE RETIRED BDF MEMBERS

Africa-Press – Botswana. Government has allocated P1.5 billion to compensate 9 360 retired Botswana Defence Force (BDF) members. The number includes the families of deceased members who were affected.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi made this announcement during a meeting with retired BDF members at Kokoro Farm in Paje yesterday. During the meeting, the President acknowledged the injustices suffered by retired members and their families and expressed a sincere apology on behalf of the government and the people of Botswana.

“I am the first to accept it. On behalf of the government and people of Botswana,I want to tender my a sincere apology,” he said.

President Masisi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, emphasised that while he acknowledged the challenges faced by the retired members, it might not be possible to address everything at once due to financial constraints.

He said the funds, transferred to the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), were made possible due to the government’s effective management of the economy.

He urged the retired members to maintain discipline and refrain from internal conflicts, underlining the importance of unity and solidarity among them.

“You are soldiers, whether retired or not. You live under a structure of command and discipline is the source of your profession,” said President Masisi.

Lack of discipline, he said might result in being court marshalled or demotion to a lower rank but his desire was to correct each other’s mistake and build the nation.

President Masisi also highlighted the government’s efforts to improve the welfare of retired BDF members, including the revision of the BDF Act to incorporate a veterans’ affairs unit.

Minister of Finance, Ms Peggy Serame, explained that a miscalculation in pension calculations led to the need for the correction, resulting in the P1.5 billion compensation fund. Ms Serame, who is also a member of the Defence Council confirmed the transfer of the funds to BPOPF and assured that efforts were underway to disburse the funds to the rightful beneficiaries, including families of deceased members.

As a gesture of appreciation, President Masisi donated two Brahman bulls to two retired BDF members, Rt. Corporal Atanang Mojuta and Rt. Warrant Officer Class 1 Oikanne Boepetswe, during the event after a toss that involved all members who attended the meeting.

This move signifies a positive step towards rectifying past injustices and supporting the well-being of retired BDF members and their families.

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