The Botswana Land Boards and Local Government Workers Union (BLLAWU) held it’s congress in Mochudi this past whole week, ending on Friday with the election of the new leadership.
The election took place on Thursday but the counting was conducted on Friday morning.
The congress, which was held under the theme “Workers at the centre of world politics”, attracted thousands of land boards and local government workers from across the country.
The position of President had pitted Ms Kagiso Watema Moreetsi against Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile. Even though Moreetsi’s lobby team scooped seven positions against Kekgonegile led team, which bagged only four positions, Kekgonegile went on to win the presidency.
Some of Moreetsi’s supporters said she didn’t get the nod from the majority of the delegates just because she is a woman. They described her as a workaholic who has worked tirelessly for the union while Kekgonegile has been through leadership vacuum as he at some point took a break from active unionism.
Speaking after her defeat, Moreetsi said she was proud of contesting for the position of president as no woman had ever shown the courage and bravery to contest for the office.
The past immediate president, Pelotshweu Baeng, didn’t seek re-election as he is poised to become the Executive Chairman of BLLAWU Group of Companies, an investment arm of the Union.
The position of Vice President-Leadership Development and Gender was won by Disang Mokwape, while Robert Rabasimane was elected Vice President-Collective Bargaining and Case Management.
The position of Secretary General went to Ketlhalefhile Motshegwa with Augustine Kaisara becoming Deputy Secretary General.
Yarobi Motswaiso became Treasurer General.
The new Secretary for Arts, Sports and Culture is Daniel Kgosietsile, while the Secretary for International Relations is Kealeboag Dipogiso.
The National Organizing Secretary went to Gerald Mahumbe, while the position of National Education Coordinator went to Mothusi Modimakwane. The position of Publicity Secretary was won by Mothusi Morewakwena.
Welcoming the new leadership, Baeng urged them to be thick skinned and to work hard for the Union. He said their Union has built a working relationship with big Unions both in the Southern African region and overseas.
When giving a keynote address to the delegates, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) interim Chairman, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who received a standing ovation and ululations from the delegates, advised the Union members to always persevere and to never be afraid of temporary persecutions that they may encounter in their fight for their rights. He said it is better to suffer temporarily and gain long term satisfaction.
Motswaledi urged them to take pride in everything they do in this country as this country belongs to all Batswana.
He congratulated the delegates and the contestants in the leadership positions for the smooth running of the elections and the peaceful atmosphere that reigned even after some people had lost in the elections. He said it is not about who won the elections but rather how they are going to take the Union further and advance the needs of the members.
Motswaledi said he does not believe Unions should be completely detached from politics as has been suggested by some people.