Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has expressed shock at the recent utterances by BOFEPUSU’s organising secretary that the union will support Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in this year’s general election.
Speaking in an interview with Northern Extra, BCP Publicity Secretary, Taolo Lucas said he was shocked at the statement made by Johnson Motswarakgole of Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU). “It is surprising that he continues to make this statement. But we know that he is a UDC activist who wants to advance the interests of his party by abusing his position in BOFEPUSU.
As the BCP we believe that workers of this country have a right to decide which party they should support not what he is doing. In the past we have engaged with the leadership of BOFEPUSU including him (Motswarakgole) about this issue and they have assured us that they will not support any party but they will urge their members to vote for candidates who have the interests of workers at heart. In our manifesto we have clearly stated what we want for workers of this country,” said Lucas. He said BCP was however not worried by Motswarakgole’s remarks. “This statement always comes from people of Manual Workers Union. Where are other unions in this matter?” wondered Lucas. Meanwhile BOFEPUSU deputy secretary general said they are not in position to support any party at the moment. “We are still in the process of publishing a manifesto in which we will clarify our position as BOFEPUSU. We are in the final stage and very soon we will unveil it. In this manifesto we will explain more on issues of corruption, workers' rights and the current state of unemployment in Botswana.
We have talked to Motswarakgole about what was said over the weekend and he told us that he was misquoted. What he said is that the UDC manifesto is in line with the one we are going to publish,” said Motshegwa. Trade unionist Motelebane Motelebane said it is wrong for the leadership of the federation to endorse one party without the input of members of the affiliates of BOFEPUSU. “At Botswana Landboard and Local Authority Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) we have taken a resolution that no partsian politics is allowed in our union,” he said adding that they will have to consult with the leadership of the federation in future so that they could clarify it to avoid confusing their members. Efforts to contact Motswarakgole were futile as his mobile phone was not available. Three months ago at the launch of UDC parliamentary candidate for Gabane-Mankgodi, Samuel Molaodi of the Manual Workers Union said: “The party that failed to constitute with other parties should be punished during elections.”