Botswana’s political, religious and social leadership, among others, has been labeled as being “extremely sensitive, egoistic and emotive” when dealing with national issues.
┬áDr. Patrick Molutsi, the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Council, made the observation at an informal networking session organised by the Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) recently.
┬á“We are facing a leadership crisis. A leader cannot afford to be emotive and operate like every Jack and Jill. Self-serving leadership is the order of the day in this country. We must demand quality leadership,” Molutsi said.
While he did not single out any leader by name, President Ian Khama’s administration stands accused of having been emotive in handling the historic public sector strike action which saw the government reversing some privileges enjoyed by union members.
┬áMolutsi said there is nothing wrong with unions dabbling in politics as long as their involvement is along non-partisan lines. He implored unions to become custodians of democracy and protect the laws that safeguard freedoms.
“You must show interest in the issues of unemployment and poverty. If you do not, you will be pitted against the unemployment. Do not be involved in partisan politics. Your involvement must be in a strategic way,” Molutsi told members of BOSETU and their friends recently.
He said Botswana unions must draw lessons but not emulate regional unions that have aligned themselves along partisan lines such as the ones in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.
┬á“We can’t talk institutional democracy without political democracy,” he said. He warned that the lack of participatory democracy led to the rise of dictators such as Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy and Idi Amin of Uganda, among others.
The academic said while unions can play a role in politics and advocate through non-partisan politics, they can nevertheless belong to political parties.
He urged BOSETU members to move to have a Teaching Council.
“The teaching profession has stalled. There is the need for teachers to have a body to protect the profession like others,” Molutsi said.
He urged BOSETU to call for a human resource development to centralise regulatory processes of the human resource development.