Four years to the next cut-throat election season the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has reaffirmed solidarity with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), guaranteeing to give it state power in the 2019 general elections.
BUFEPUSU administrative officer Samuel Molaodi said this at the Botswana National Front (BNF) 50th celebration gala dinner in Mahalapye over the weekend that BUFEPUSU desires for a united opposition and urges parties composing the opposition coalition to lead Batswana as they are worn out and dead beat of BDP misrule. The fire-breathing union leader said UDC is Batswana’s only way out: “you are their last hope and I can assure you that Batswana trust you.”
He reiterated a litigious claim that has upset rival trade union federation, Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), of BOFEPUSU being a national trade union labour centre. He said that with BOFEPUSU’s position as a trade union labour centre and representing labour interests of a substantial fraction of the populace it has thus given them the ability to see what Batswana yearn and aspire for as BOFEPUSU collectively represents labour interests of approximately 100 000 members.
He said the definitive aspiration of BOFEPUSU is to see the establishment tumble over in their lifetime and that Batswana need for the federation to continue to nurture and see through the coalition to political success as the initial conveners of opposition talks.
Molaodi continued saying nothing should split opposition coalition vowing BOFEPUSU will always be on hand for assistance. “We love you and we want to work with you to liberate Batswana because you are the only hope as an alternative government.” Molaodi rumbled, before appealing to UDC legislators to always watch the back of the labour federation and be its mouth-piece in parliament in cases where the ruling party majority toys with passing legislation that eat into the rights of the workers.
He also cautioned that those who depart from the mission will not depress their resolve and staying power and BOFEPUSU will continue with its dreaded enemies of progress ‘hit list’ that detailed names and the heads of politicians and senior administration figures that need to be taken out.
He continued warning that the 2019 elections will see big money being injected into the electoral process and being used against BUFEPUSU and the opposition coalition to thwart the drift of opposition take over. He claims that top opposition leaders are marked men and their lives have been profiled along with their faults and limitations and limitless schemes will be drawn in defer the revolution. Molaodi said that their members at the unions are dealing with such issues and inform them.
Molaodi also said BOFEPUSU will stick to the tried and tested 2011 resolution that was taken after the affliction endured resultant of its 2011 industrial action where the collective 100 000 members of the federation members were doled out the duty of politically converting families and associates into the opposition coalition fold.
He also hastened to warn that the relationship between BOFEPUSU and the opposition coalition is not a permanent one firing a warning shot saying; “after we deliver to you state power we will still be around rolling on our mandate, so don’t be stunned when we step on your feet the moment you impinge on the rights of the workers!”
BOFEPUSU Gender Affairs Officer and Manual Workers Union official Simon Kgaoganang also on the last day of marathon of celebrations restated that he has been dispatched by the federation’s president Johannes Tshukudu to deliver a message of support. The slogan chanting Kgaoganang said: “Our job is to open the door for you-you refused to seize state power in 2014 but this time around we will force it upon you.”He also said that BOFEPUSU sees potential in the UDC and on Election Day’s eve the ruling Botswana Democratic Party should not even be an opposition party but should collapse.
Cuban ambassador to Botswana Carlos Arencibia Corrales also said that the central committee of the Cuban Communist Party sends messages of solidarity and applaud the Botswana National Front as it reaches half a century of existence.
The South African Communist Party emissary and its political chairperson Mpho Motlhabane also urged opposition parties to consolidate their power and put collective interest before individuality saying the SACP will back the UDC parties’ day of night as it has always done working with it in house to house and general campaigns. He said all the 240 000 members of the SACP stand behind the UDC urging parties making up the coalition to take example of the tripartite alliance+1 involving the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions plus SANCO’s way of doing things.
Motlhabane said the current Botswana government is usually the source of problems plaguing the SADC region as it has the tendency of leaning to western countries in times of a regional tumult.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.