The Botswana Federation of Public-Private and Parastatal Sector Union known as BOFEPUSU has claimed ignorance of intended mediation between the federation and its former affiliate Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) by the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF).
At its conference held in Kang last month, the BNF resolved to mediate the two warring unions which have led to the country’s working class being polarised for the first in years. “We do not have any problem with the BNF resolution at all; neither do we have any problem with the initiative of mediation. However, the unfortunate thing is that we only hear about this initiative from Press Statements and media addresses,” said BOFEPUSU Secretary General Tobokani Rari.
“We have never been approached by the BNF since their Kang resolution and await such. Our major concern is that we keep hearing about this initiative in the media which is very unfair as this keeps the public thinking that there is something being done while there is nothing.” Rari said the BNF should come clean on this matter or desist from talking about it and create expectations. The relationship between BOFEPUSU and BOPEU took a worse turn in 2015 when the latter at its Palapye Congress resolved to disaffiliate from the federation.
The deterioration in relation was set in motion by BOFEPUSU decision to endorse Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ahead of 2014 general elections, while BOPEU felt strongly against endorsing any political party. Since then the leadership of the two unions exchanged words in public domain. Recently BOFEPUSU accused BOPEU of convening with government to collapse the country’s bargaining council. BOFEPUSU were of the view that BOPEU was working against the interest of the workers.
While initially it was said, Andrew Motsamai, the former BOPEU president was the man who was standing between BOPEU and BOFEPUSU working together, even after his departure, the new President Masego Mogwera maintained the same policy. Following her ascendance to the presidency Masego told a press conference that a lot will remain the same under her leadership. ‘The decision to leave BOFEPUSU is a 2015 congress resolution,” she said, “Until such a time that the congress makes another resolution to re-join BOFEPUSU, BOPEU will not rejoin.”
MOTSAMAI-MOTSHWARAKGOLE FALL OUT
It has been widely reported that the fall out between veteran unionist and BOFEPPPUSU Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwaragole, and his protégé Motsamai, led to the departure of BOPEU from the federation. Ever since the fallout BOPEU and BOFEPUSU have been at loggerheads in the battle to outclass each other. The two unions have been involved in squabbles, the latest being the bargaining council membership battle. The court has resulted in BOPEU bowing out of the council owing to its failure to meet the threshold needed to qualify for membership.
Although Mogwera has stated previously that she would not singlehandedly take a decision to take BOPEU back to BOFEPUSU, that BOPEU was no longer part of the bargaining council would haunt her. BOPEU was initially part of BOFEPUSU Acting Jointly Agreement, which allowed it to be part of the bargaining council as a result of Manual Workers Union, an affiliate of BOFEPUSU qualifying for the bargaining council membership. As things stand, Manual Workers Union was the only union which met the threshold for bargaining council membership. BOFEPUSU have since resigned from the Bargaining Council.
On the federation’s part, Rari said they would approach the matter of mediation, if such would happen with an open mind. “I would not want to go into that detail [conditions for reconciliation] as I might prejudice the process if ever it’s there. Issues would be put on the table and we will deal with them with an open mind as they are tabled.” Boko who previously maintained a hard stance against BOPEU has softened up towards the union recently. Boko was invited as guest speaker at BOPEU May Day celebrations.
In 2015, Boko declined invitation from BOPEU speak at its congress held in Palapye. Boko recently dismissed reports that his new relationship with BOPEU stems from the fact that the two parties are involved in business together. Boko admitted that he has been giving BOPEU legal opinion.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.