Friday, September 25, 2020

Government accused of union bashing as BOFEPUSU boss is recalled

Botswana Federation of Public Service Union (BOFEPUSU) Secretary General Andrew Motsamai has been recalled from his union assignment by his employers at the Institute of Health Sciences stocking fears of a systematic union bashing by government.

Motsamai has since confirmed that he has been recalled, he has already cleared his desk at BOFEPUSU and taken up his posting at the Institute of Health Sciences beginning of March.

He however declined to comment further on the matter referring all questions to his colleagues at BOFEPUSU.

BOFEPUSO spokesperson who has been suspended from work in the North West District Council, Goretetse kekgonegile says the recalling of Motsamai was a clear signal that the government has launched war against unions.

“If there is any clear sign that government has waged a war against union it is the recalling of Motsamai”, he said.

Kekgonegile says if there were people in this country who still doubted that government was on the war-path then this should clear their doubts.

BOFEPUSU spokesperson is worried because Motsamai represented the unions at the bargaining council and now he will be at the mercy of his employers’ courtesy to attend meetings of the bargaining council. Motsamai’s recall has sparked panic in the union movement that government may be targeting union leaders in a bid to weaken Botswana’s trade unions.

Besides recalling and suspending union leaders, Kekgonegile told Sunday Standard that others are being frustrated by making sure that they do not progress in their respective jobs. “We are being punished for having led last year strike,” he said.

Minister of Presidential Affairs Mokgweetsi Masisi said that he knows nothing about the issue as nobody had written to his office informing him that he had been recalled.

“This is the first time I am hearing about that and I cannot comment on allegations of union bashing of because I do not know about any union leader who has been recalled”, he said.

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