President Ian Khama this Saturday was in a rare gesture for a state president when he used his helicopter to help in a rescue mission for a man who was reported missing in the vicinity of Mosu village while out in search of his cattle.
According to Botswana government’s social media information service Bwgovernment, while at his Mosu home, His Excellency the President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama was alerted to the fact that a middle aged man had been reported missing for over 24 hours, after he had gone to search for some cattle.
A rescue mission had already been dispatched from the village, and upon realising that the Presidential helicopter was in the area, His Excellency was approached to assist in complimenting rescue efforts on the ground. “His Excellency the President took to the air in the morning on 2 occasions, and also in the afternoon for the 3rd time.
“The middle aged man, born 1972, had a mobile phone through which he was able to contact the search and rescue party, but unfortunately because he was lost and a little disoriented, he was unable to give proper directions to the search team. Mobile communication also proved difficult owing to network connectivity challenges. The mobile phone also eventually ran out of battery. The initial air rescue mission was centred around the area of Kokonje.
Whilst available on air telephonically, he had given the names of certain land features that unfortunately proved not to be accurate, because for the first air rescue attempt he directed, he had indicated that he was at the Mmakgama lands, and the popular such place being near Mosu, but unfortunately that proved not to be the case. It was discovered that there is another similar named place within the locality that is not as popular as the aforementioned, but that expedition also proved to be an exercise in futility.
The man was eventually located in the afternoon, by both the ground and air search parties. The helicopter, with a total of 7 on board, flown by the President, had 2 pilots and a crew of 5 other men, landed in the bush, and thereafter ferried the old man to the clinic in Mokubilo.
At the time that they found him, the man was dehydrated and very weak, he could not walk. The rescue team gave him water and juice, for sugar, to let him recover before taking him to hospital. At Mokubilo, he was transferred to Letlhakane Hospital for him to get proper medical attention and recuperate, where he was admitted.
It should also be noted that the area has wildlife, especially worrying is presence of leopards and lions, as well as elephants.
On the whole, indications are that had the man not been found within a couple of hours, he would not have survived much longer. It is therefore quite commendable that the village, as well as the first citizen mobilised to work on this community activity that embodies our values as Batswana, ‘gore kgetsi ya tsie e kgonwa ka go tshwaraganelwa,’ basically translated to mean that combined efforts pay dividends. It is also heartening that villagers converged to witness arrival of the man by chopper at the clinic, as a way of welcoming him. Furthermore, they also accompanied him to hospital as the was transferred to Letlhakane hospital, as a way of showing concern and sympathy,” the government page reported.
The rescue mission was joined by President Khama in his presidential helicopter