All must appreciate progress - mayor.
Mayor of Francistown, Ms Sylvia Muzila, on September 8 called on churches, community leaders and residents never to take for granted progress achieved over the years.
Such achievements, she said, were as a result of combined efforts and prayers of men and women who were determined to eject anything that threatened the socio-economic development of people of Botswana.
Ms Muzila said such synergies had truthfully paid off and ensured HIV/AIDS that posed danger to the existence of the nation at some point was contained.
She was speaking at the launch of the month of prayer against HIV/AIDS and other social ills in Francistown recently.
"The launch of the month of prayer is primarily about us praying and believing God to help us achieve the national vision and aspirations," she said, adding that it was good that this year's premier of the month of prayer came at a time when the nation was about to go to the polls on October 23.
She thanked Spiritual Healing Church, Francistown for coming to the launch in large numbers; a development she said others should draw lessons from.
For her part, former Tati Town Customary Court president, Ms Ludo Mosojane, said although Botswana had enjoyed accelerated socio-economic growth over the years, general moral decay had come to haunt and reverse strides achieved thus far.
The big shift in values, she said, had opened wide a door to growing incidents of HIV/AIDS and ever-increasing statistics of social ills.
"We all know that ills such as gender-based violence are connected to HIV/AIDS and both of them destroy family stability and peace. Allow me also to mention in passing other enemies of peace and good health like alcoholism and addiction to gambling," she said.
To this end, Ms Mosojane said the challenge was now upon the body of Christ to evangelise during a time such as this one and use the word of God to touch the lives of the ailing society.
Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme (BOCAIP) official, Ms Evelyn Mwape, took participants down memory lane about the callous nature of HIV/AIDS in the mid 80s and early '90s and how government, through multi-sectoral approach, faced the pandemic head-on.
Ms Mwape said also the launch of the month of prayers acted as a platform to remember many lives lost to HIV/AIDS.
Paster John Ramotshabi of Christ International Fellowship (CIF) commended the churches for their leading role in the fight against social ills bedeviling the nation.
He also called on the churches never to allow their differences to divide them in their quest to serve the nation.