The President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko has warned the Chief Executive Officer of Choppies Group, Ramachandaran Ottapathu to pay his employees decent salaries or face deportation when UDC assumes power after the upcoming 2019 elections.
Boko said this in Tati Siding village as part of his meet and greet session tours last week. He was confident that UDC will win the upcoming 2019 elections. Choppies is a multinational merchandise grocery store and merchandise retailer with more than 100 stores in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“For those who know the Choppies boss, they should warn him that when we take power in the coming elections, he will have to pay his workers a minimum of at least P3 000 or we will make him go back where he came from. Can you imagine? He pays Choppies workers peanuts and he has publicly stated that he earns P1 million per month in the media,” said Boko.
He said when UDC assumes power, old age pensioners will be paid P1500 contrary to the meager P400.00 that is paid by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party government. He also said that the UDC will create 100 000 jobs to try and address high unemployment especially among the youth. He slammed the recent 10 percent civil service salary increment as ridiculous and a joke. He said once they assume governance the lowest paid government employee will earn P3 000.00.
“Some politicians have said that there is need for a proper research for us to be able to implement such. This is because we have some politicians in parliament who cannot think. Some have condemned us for being unrealistic as they said that it is not possible for us to create 100 000 jobs. As UDC we stand resolute and maintain that it is possible. During the budget speech I explained to them how we will create such jobs,” Boko said.
He said there was no need for any research in paying a minimum wage of P3 000 as it is clear that food prices have escalated and the cost of living has gone up. He attacked the BDP for failing the country despite its 53 years in power. He further said BDP is a corrupt party that does not care about the welfare of Batswana as evidenced by failed big projects among others, Morupule B, Fenguye Glass Project and the embezzlement of the National Petroleum Fund.
“When they are supposed to change the lives of citizens, those in power always decry that there is no money. In the same vein they are continuing to embezzle funds from the government coffers. BDP is also conniving with foreign investors to treat Batswana as slaves as evidenced by the low pay structure in some foreign companies in our country,” he said.
Regarding the two hired UDC aircrafts that were recently grounded at Francistown Airport, by the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), Boko simply said he will never be demoralized to continue with his mission to campaign ahead of the 2019 elections. The two aircrafts were to be used in the campaign. BURS seized the aircrafts on Wednesday last week because the pilots failed to comply with customs procedures.
Boko who suspects that the move was politically motivated, said whoever is trying to bring him down or demoralize him in his campaigns ahead of the 2019 elections is wasting their time.
“They will never defeat me even if they try to bring me down. I am unbreakable. In fact this is a joke to me,” he said.
According to media reports the aircrafts have since been cleared and a heavy fine was paid by the owners of the aircrafts for violating the BURS regulations.