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BOFEPUSU makes demands on Masisi

Incoming President, Mokgweetsi Masisi has a long list of demands from the Botswana Federation of Public, Private Parastatals Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) – which if he meets, is guaranteed the Federation’s votes come 2019.  

The federation, which threw its weight behind the umbrella coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the last general elections, has been at odds with government for some time now.  Going into the 2014 general elections, BOFEPUSU had a notorious hit list of politicians, among them Masisi. The union has for a long time fingered the Vice President for destroying labour relations in this country. However, the union’s publicity secretary, Mogomotsi Motshegwa this week called on Masisi to restore the now ruined relations.

“He should seriously improve labour relations in the country especially employer-employee relations which are at their lowest. This would include the restoration of the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC). Not just that, but ensuring it is independent and it works without fear or favour of being sabotaged by those with political connections.”

The Federation which for a long time has been vocal on labour issues, eventually prompting and leading the historic 2011 industrial strike Also called on to the VP to repeal draconian laws, especially the amended Trade Dispute Act “which placed everyone as an essential service consequently contravening section 87 of Trade Dispute Act”.

The proposed amendment of the Public Service Act in which all the recognized unions will seat at the PSBC, should also be scrapped post April 1st. “It will cause anarchy, instead there should be a joint agreement not to have many representatives there,” Motshegwa highlighted. BOFEPUSO’s relationship with Masisi has not improved since 2011 when he was still Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration and have constantly maintained that they relate with him as they do government.

That notwithstanding, the union says if Masisi assures them that their requests will be met, they will definitely consider scrapping him off the hit list in the upcoming elections. “If he can meet our demands we will listen to him. In fact anyone listening to us we will consider. Gare batle di-party tsa bo chekwane, they should respect us even though we might disagree.

We will furnish him with our workers manifesto so he knows our stance which will be the guiding principle to those who want our vote,” Samuel Molaodi who is the union’s education secretary categorically stated. Further, the Federation wants Masisi to lift the advertising ban on private media; they believe that the current retrenchments in the industry are caused by the government’s decision to impose the ban on private media.


According to the Federation, the government has roped in a Malaysian company to carry out a study on public service remuneration system and performance management system. The findings of the study will be used at the PSBC to map the way forward, especially on improving conditions of service. The union on the other hand is carrying out the same study through Tsa Badiri Consultancy for comparison. The union is however unhappy over the government’s decision to rope in the company without their input and most importantly the huge amount of money that will pay the Malaysian company.


BOFEPUSO will on June this year present their case to the International Labour Organization (ILO) following the peripheral decision taken by government in implementing last year’s recommendations by the workers’ body. Botswana was listed amongst 23 countries that violated Labour laws following the Federation’s report to the Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR.)

“But this year it will be placed under special paragraph which comprises of countries that are frequently visited to check their progress. This put Botswana at risk of being sanctioned by western countries owing to reluctance,” BOFEPUSO Secretary General Tobokani Rari stated. The government since last year’s meeting has done nothing or little in implementing the suggestions by Committee of Application of Standards (CAS). The recommendations included allowing prisoners to unionize, amending trade dispute act and reporting back to ILO their progress.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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BOCRA detects new cyber attacks targeted at Botswana

20th March 2023

Government owned communications regulator, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) recently detected several cyber-attacks targeted at national information and communications infrastructure, companies and home routers in this country.

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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP

17th March 2023

As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.

Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.

He made a special appeal to the PAP:  “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”

Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”

According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.

As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.

The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.

Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.

Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.

He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.

“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.

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