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Motshegwa defends stable BLLAHWU

  • Labels the seven defectors dissidents
     
  • Says they have always caused chaos
     
  • BLLAHWU has 12000 members

Following the formation of Botswana Progressive Workers Union, whose founders are former members of Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), this publication caught up with the Secretary General of BLLAHWU, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa to share on the status of his union following the departures.  

Weekend Post:  There are reports of a union which claims to be a breakaway from BLLAHWU; could this be a matter of fact?

Motshegwa: BLLAHWU is intact, stable and prospering well. We continue to receive new members. The structures of the Union are well revived as the National leadership and Regional Organizers of the Union continue to liaise with structures and update them on pertinent industrial relations issues.

We note that there are about seven (7) members of the Union who have been making noise that they have resigned from the Union and formed a new one. We are not worried because given their integrity no one will be fooled by such characters and they won't attract anyone. As we speak we have not experienced any resignation from members.

Weekend Post: Are you aware of any disgruntled former members of BLLAHWU out there?

Motshegwa: Members of the Union are happy, optimistic and inspired by the Union and its performance. This was further clear in the Governing Council of the 20th August 2016 which was productive and progressive.

Weekend Post: What were their concerns? And have they attempted to engage leadership on finding solutions to the challenges they identified at the time?

Motshegwa: The seven troublesome members have no genuine reasons whatsoever. It's just that they have a history of being dissidents and delinquent to the Union. Motelebane Motelebane has that dark history of being trouble to the Union. He has always been like that during the days when the Union was an Association called BULGSA. He has always engaged in attacking and belittling Union leadership as long as he was not in leadership. Every time he loses elections he then resorts to attacking leadership. They tried twice to overthrow the current Committee but they failed because members put them to order. So they don't have any reasons expect that they are driven by hunger for power. That is why having lost Presidential elections in BLLAHWU in 2013 and this year he claims to form a Union and become its President.  

Weekend Post: What would you say is the position of BLLAHWU at the moment, on a balance scale, will you say it is still a strong union?

Motshegwa: BLLAHWU is very strong, stable. The departure of Motelebane and his crew has helped BLLAHWU attain peace and stability because they were always causing chaos and instability in the Union. It was clear at the Governing Council that members were happy that finally the Union is stable and attractive.  

Weekend Post: Substantiate with figures, how many members do you have in the books?

Motshegwa: BLLAHWU is currently at 12000 members and having great potential for growth with its reputation of loyalty to the workers cause and representation of members on Industrial Relations matters.

Weekend Post: What is the diversity of your union membership, what cadres subscribe to BLLAHWU?

Motshegwa: BLLAHWU organises different cadres in the whole public service.

Weekend Post: There have been questions of accountability at your union, especially failure to submit audited statements to the Registrar as a required by law, does this hold water?

Motshegwa: The Union submits audited financial report every year to the Conference and submit Annual returns to the Registrar of Trade Unions. This we have constantly complied with without fail. The Union has good corporate governance practices in place which are guided by internal control measures such as Financial and accounting policy, procurement policy, and anti-money laundering policy, human resource conditions of service, Information and technology policy, Board charter for Union investments. Our practices are anchored on reporting, responsibility, transparency and accountability.
 
Weekend Post: What is your view on the deduction that those who defected from BLLAHWU could only be doing so because of a personal battle against yourself as the Secretary General?

Motshegwa: Their actions are personalized for they have failed to prove themselves within the Union. They lost the elections in 2013, and the Union is heading for elections in the Congress of 1-4 December 2016 and they have anticipated their loss and members were fed up with them. That is why now they resorted to malicious lies; propaganda against the Union particularly targeted at the Secretary General to try and paid him in bad. But that has not worked and hence why they jumped ship realizing that they have squandered their reputation.

Weekend Post: Put the matter of your employment by the union to rest, there are claims that it was un-procedural. Explain to your loyal members for the record and clarity.

Motshegwa: The Constitution of BLLAHWU has always provided that the Secretary General is an employee of the Union. That provision has always been there since 2009. What the Constitution says is that when one is becomes the Secretary General of the Union he or she automatically becomes an employee of the Union by virtue of being the Secretary General.

The employment of the current Secretary General having been catered for in the Constitution was endorsed and confirmed in the Governing Council and Conference of the Union in 2015 following the dismissal of the Secretary General from the public service following fights with the employer.

Those who challenge this are actually pouring water on the Constitution, the Governing Council, Conference and Congress of the Union. In fact they are driven pettiness and jealously.

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