Some branch executive members of Botswana landboard and Local Authority Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) are lobbying others to remove Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa and his deputy, Keaoleboga Dipogiso on a vote of no confidence at next month annual general meeting.
The plan is to replace him with former National Organising Secretary of the union, Gerald Mahumba who lost the position to Motshegwa in 2013 at Mmadinare elective congress. Mahumba is allegedly spearheading the mission to oust Motshegwa. “We are confident that our fellow comrades will back us up in this mission because we want to take the union back to its track. Ever since we elected those guys we do not understand how the union is being operated. Some of the branches are not working at all because the information is not coming from union leadership.
We have lost members to other unions because they have lost confidence in union leadership,” said Baraedi Motseothata from Gaborone Branch. Meanwhile chairperson of Maun branch Matshwenyego Setshego does not agree with his fellow comrades on the issue. “It was supposed to be tabled last month at the Governing Council by Gaborone Branch but because some members were not convinced it was postponed to the AGM. I think if they are saying the two have failed this means the whole Central Executive Committee (CEC) should be dethroned because they are working as a team.
This is an emotional decision that will not benefit our union. Mahumba has also failed while he was in the CEC and is one of the people peddling petty issues on social media about the union leadership,” he said. He also revealed that some branches want the motion to be tabled against the whole CEC. “There are those who feel all leadership should be included. But I do not think the motion will succeed because we are not convinced as to why we should support it,” said Setshego adding that he is happy about the work done by Motshegwa and his committee ever since they took over. Reached for comment, Mahumba said he does not know anything about the issue.
Pressed further he said he hopes members of the union will take a decision that will benefit the union in the long run. “My hope is to see members apply their minds correctly in decisions that will take our union forward because we need the restoration of workers’ power,” he said. Both Motshegwa and Dipogiso were not available for comment. They did not reply messages sent to them on their mobile phones. According to BLLAHWU constitution Article 18.1 any member or structure of the union shall have power to initiate a recall of any office bearer on the grounds that owing to ill health, unsoundness of mind and absence from the country or for any other good reason he or she is unable to perform his duties or unable to do so satisfactory.