The Deputy Secretary General of Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) Ketlhalefile Motshegwa has advised Botswana People’s Party (BPP) to revamp itself in order to grow and attract new members into its fold.
The BPP which is the first political movement in Botswana is part of the opposition cooperation under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Addressing hordes of BPP members during a BPP Elective Congress in Tati Siding village last week Motshegwe said BPP’s leadership needs to urgently come up with a number of engaging activities for members and further make the party attractive and relevant in contemporary politics.
“Further you will have to put efforts on publicity and branding of the party so that it reaches out to the broader population. This will also assist in dissemination of the party’s central message and policy direction,” he said.
Motshegwa also added that the importance of education and struggle consciousness needs to be inculcated into the party to enhance disciplined and progressive cadres who are committed to the bigger picture of economic liberation and genuine independence for Batswana. He said BPP needs to identify critical societal issues to be tackled adding that these should be issues of fundamental concern to members.
“Those are issues such as rising unemployment, violation of human rights, land distribution crisis, fight against corruption, education crisis, improved health services and human centred development. To drive its policies and agenda, the BPP needs to work with groups such as workers, women, youth, and farmers, be closer to the poor and vigorously mobilize these groups,” he said.
“The party needs to assume the role of the vanguard for the working class by pursuing and addressing workers issues. This is critical in fighting for creation of sustainable jobs with decency, protecting advancing and deepening trade union rights, workers rights and fight for social justice,” Motshegwa added.
The trade unionist explained that on the question of Trade Unions and Politics it must be drawn upon the government that Trade Unions will be relentless and dedicated in playing their role in politics or the political economy of the country. He said it is up to the government to find better ways of working with Trade Unions through tripartite social dialogue structures towards harmonious industrial democracy and peace.
“There is need for unity among opposition parties. The agitation should be towards regime change and not merely just simple change of parliamentary majority while things remain the same as have been with the previous government. It should be the focus of the new government to focus on strengthening democratic institutions, restore integrity of the judiciary and bestow the necessary power to parliament for a functional democracy, eliminate corruption, eliminate suffering and change complexion and pattern of the political economy,” he said.
He warned that opposition parties need to be cautious against infiltration of state agents. He also added that there is need for vibrant and participatory membership, strong visionary and trustworthy leadership. He further said that in the current journey of the struggle, it ought to be known that some leaders will on the way deviate from the mandate and that the struggle will be fierce and challenging and therefore in need of dedicated men and women.
“Be united, grow in numbers and make resounding contribution in the UDC and work towards change of government which is fundamentally urgent,” he concluded.