IPA Newsletter April 2019 - Word of introduction

04 Apr 2019

Dear friends,

As the IEB liaison member for the African sections, I was pleased to accept an invitation to attend the IPA Botswana National Congress i20190301 090727 2n Gaborone to offer support and advice to the section, currently in suspension.

20190301 143023Arriving 2 days early to recover from the trip, my wife Dianne and I were looked after by Nono Wadipeda of the Special Support Group and director of music, who offered us the services of a driver, Charles, for our stay. We visited a local game park and the National Museum. We were taken by Emmanuel Morris, Assistant Commissioner to HQ, where we met the two Deputy Commissioners, Mr Tapudzani Gabolekwe (currently Acting Commissioner) and Ms Dinah Marathe. They all displayed great interest in revitalising the IPA in Botswana and working hard to lift the suspension at the first opportunity at the next IPA World Congress.

We later visited the Junior Officers’ Club, where we met the enthusiastic local regional committee members and others from around the country as they arrived for the congress. We also linked up with the delegations from Eswatini and Mozambique and IPA South Africa president, Vossie Vos.

The National Congress was held on 1 March 2019, with around 60 Botswana members, plus the guests from the visiting sections. Among the speakers was a former president of the section, Mr TE Tsimako, who gave a witty and inspirational address. Reports on activities were then provided by the 4 regions of the section.

I was invited to preside over the election process for the new NEC, assisted by tellers from IPA Eswatini and Mozambique.

After lunch, I made a presentation on the IEB, its commissions and opportunities for IPA members. I then went through the roles and responsibilities of NEC members, since we had many new office holders in the room.

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20190228 110232The next day, there was an excursion to Big Valley Game Lodge, near Lobatse, some 2 hours’ drive from the capital. Fifty or so members from the host and visiting sections enjoyed a game drive, followed by use of the lodge’s facilities, including a refreshing swimming pool and Botswana’s first and as yet only zipline. The day was rounded off back in Gaborone by a dinner dance at the congress hotel.

I am very positive about the future for IPA Botswana, with all the enthusiastic members I met during my visit, and hope that I shall be in a position to recommend to the IEB in October that the suspension be lifted.

My thanks go to Mojwadi Pitso and Neo Kebonye for their work over the past year and to Emmanuel Morris for taking the steps to restart the NEC. Also, thanks to all who looked after my wife and myself during our visit to Gaborone and showed the true spirit of IPA. As the good folk there exclaim joyfully, ‘Servo!!’

Stephen Crockard, Head of Administration