Monday, January 25, 2021

Moatlhodi asks government to reinstate expelled workers

A ruling Botswana Democratic Party Member of Parliament, Pono Moatlhodi, has pleaded with his government to reinstate fired public servants in the aftermath of the industrial action of a few months ago.

At the same time, Moatlhodi slammed the opposition parties for “irresponsible and immature politics” for allegedly fueling the recent public service strike which saw some of the essential services employees eventually being kicked out of work.

Capitalising on the stand-off between government and the public service sector that included even nurses and doctors, Botswana Congress Party, Botswana Movement for Democracy and Botswana National Front joined the fray, addressing rallies in solidarity with the workers.

“I plead with you Honourable Masisi to reinstate our nurses and doctors. We should learn to forgive,” Moatlhodi said on Monday, responding to the President’s State of the Nation address.
Moatlhodi said the difficulty in which these workers found themselves entangled in was a result of the opposition parties.

“There are acute shortages of medical services across the country. But these problems were exacerbated by the opposition parties. Shame on the opposition parties for misleading our children, hoping to cash in! This is irresponsible and immature politics,” he shouted.

Although he seemed to enjoy much support from his BDP colleagues, the Tonota South legislator’s political rhetoric was short-lived as the Speaker of the National Assembly subsequently accused him of abusive and derogatory language directed at women.

Dwelling on the Ipelegeng topic, Moatlhodi rubbed Margaret Nasha the wrong way as he refer to women as ‘Basadinyana’- a controversial Setswana word which can also express love and affection, depending on the manner and situation in which it is used.

“Basadinyana ba ba sa nyalwang, leruo la bone le nyeletswa ke dikwena mme Mokaila o gana go ba phimola dikeledi,” Moatlhodi said, symphathising with the women in Maun and Okavango region whose livestock he said “are killed by crocodiles while the Tourism minister, Kitso Mokaila, refuses with funds to compensate”.

Nasha ordered the defiant Moatlhodi to withdraw the statement and he did.
“Even if you claim the statement is not derogatory and abusive to women in the area you come from, it is so in this House and therefore order you to withdraw the words,” the Speaker said.

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