Public employees have been warned against actively participating in political parties politics.
Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) Chairman Oaitse Patle said the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) has told them to caution their members against active participation in politics.
DPSM’s position is that participating in active politics by civil servants is against public employees conditions of service, hence they should refrain from participation.
“You cannot talk about political issues openly, but you could freely discuss labour politics like conditions of service,” he said adding that BOPEU is politically neutral and they are aligned only to their mandate.
He added: “and we are not in anyway related to the political statements that were made by the Botswana Federation of Public Employees Organisations (BOFEPUSO) as we are only their affiliates.”
Patle who was addressing a BOPEU consultative meeting decried members’ lack of participation in the union financial management, which he said leads to mismanagement of funds. He noted that although the union has investments worth millions of pula they are failing to provide for members as well as build the union office facilities.
“Our challenge is over dependent on government and it is high time that we move away from government handovers and become independent,” he said adding that for a rich union they are failing to address their member’s welfare and that has to change.
“Members have to wake up and manage their finances because if they don’t they will find their coffers empty.”
He said the union would hold regional meetings on October 12 in preparation for the congress that will take place on 17 October.
He also pointed out that it is their belief that salary negotiation meetings are still ongoing and they will communicate with their members when something on the issues comes up.
“But what ever happens as union members the power in your hands, to instill change.”