Umbrella for Democratic Change Parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Bonnington South says he is standing for political office to pursue the agenda of the working class and the poor who are marginalised in the economy. Ketlhalefile Motshegwa a renowned trade unionist is currently Secretary General for BLLAWU and Deputy Secretary for Botswana Federation of Public Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU).
He was recently criticised for having failed to disclose his interest in political office. In an interview with Botswana Guardian this week Motshegwa said that after being approached by the UDC he made consultations and has now arrived at a decision to contest for parliamentary election in Gaborone Bonnington South constituency. This is the constituency that he stayed at for some time and voted at in 2014. “Upfront I indicate my respect for those I will be contesting with. They are my fellow citizens whom together we are creating diversity of choice for our people and for functionality and nurturing of our democracy.
“Democracy is about competition, and nobody should be faulted or persecuted for merely availing themselves for democratic process such as elections in a Republican set up. “In our team, in advancing my candidature and those of council candidates, we will be conducting a clean, mature, ethical, progressive and issue-based campaign. We are focused on the elections, and our ideas to the people to solve their problems. This country so much yearns for solution-oriented leaders,” he explained.
He believes issues that have to be dealt with unapologetically and with vigour are those of ideological and policy orientation. He argued that there is need to dismantle a system that protects the power and privilege of the few against the interests and needs of the many.
This needs a radical shift on policy framework hinged on ideological orientation, he stated adding that policies should talk about the workers, the poor, youth, women and disabled people.Motshegwa said he would focus on review of the constitution and efforts for enhancement of the country’s democracy. He believes that the economic gains of this country must benefit all Batswana and that in modern times advocacy should be for the socio-economic, political and psychological independence from those neo-colonial mentality.
“Focus must be on the struggle of the working class and the peasants. The working class or labouring class are the people employed for wages, especially in manual-labour occupations and industrial work. This class has nothing to sell but their labour power and skills and they have a challenge of access to economic resources. “That is even worse for the poor who are living in sorrows, agony and some having lost hope to the extent of wishing death upon themselves daily. So far, we have been walking around, having chats with the people in Gaborone Bonnington South.
“They share stories that touch the heart, with feeling and meaning. Some of those are the most beautiful stories to hear as they are moving and inspirational. On the other hand, some are stories of agony and despair arising from abject poverty. The stories of people who have lost hope and are only seeking death a solution to depart from this earth. When I see their tears, I can’t help but shed my own,” posited Motshegwa.
According to the aspiring legislator the “Motshegwa For Gaborone Bonnington South campaign” is driven by principles of respect of human rights and premised on human centered development. “Our campaign is to go and revolutionise parliament to bring about radical legal and policy shift to care for the workers, the poor, youth, the disabled, the old people, and robustly push for effective citizenship economic empowerment,” he argues.
Motshegwa explained that his team understands very well that they have a responsibility to cleanse our politics and ensure that people respect politics and politicians, in order to do away with bad notions attached to politics as a dirty vocation. He said politics should be about listening to and serving people, creating ideas as solutions to socio-economic and political predicaments of the country.
“We want a great Botswana where the economy benefits all and human rights are respected and nurtured. We will be fearless, uncompromising and unapologetic in demanding economic independence for the people of this country’s people and social justice. “We cannot afford to have a rich country with poor people, this we are moving to stop”.