Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Teachers’ unions at each other’s throats as education system collapses

The national recruiting campaign by the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) is beginning to bear fruits.

For the time being the target seems to be a rival teacher trade union, BOSETU, which has lost its Publicity Secretary, Raymond Malinga, to the BTU.

BTU Secretary General, Ibo Nana Kenosi, said it is important for Botswana to have one teacher union that will speak for teachers with one voice.

He said that is the goal of BTU.

“The union will embark on country wide campaign addressing teachers to leave BOSETU, because it has lost its meaning, and join BTU, a union that will advocate for their welfare and forget about the money machines (BOSETU),” said Kenosi.

He added: “Already, BOPRITU is in pieces and BOSETU will come at our door confessing, begging BTU to take her back.”

He said that BOSETU is formed for a few fellows living a better life with their counterparts in the Ministry. Kenosi boasted that BTU is the only teacher Union that is battling with MoESD over teacher’s welfare.

He said the delay in solving the issue on the levels of operations is a result of the betrayal by leaders of BOSETU because they have deviated from their mandate of teacher welfare.

Kenosi, however, maintained that BTU will fight to retain its loyal 7000 members who are still at BOSETU.

Regarding Malinga’s departure from BOSETU, Kenosi denounced allegations that he was recruited by BTU as false.

“He joined the Union out of his own volition and we accepted him on the basis of his capabilities and potential as a trade unionist,” said Kenosi. He added that the union is ready to protect him settle at BTU.

Kenosi said Malinga’s resignation from BOSETU is a tip of the iceberg. He said more will be coming.
Malinga was elected the face of BOSETU at an elective congress in Mmadinare last year. His term was supposed to run until the next elective congress in 2014.

┬á“There will be nothing wrong with me taking people from BOSETU that I feel are important, if I could recruit members from BTU to BOSETU I will recruit members from BOSETU to BTU,” said Malinga.

Malinga said he played his part at BOSETU for the past eight years and feels he can now play a meaningful role at BTU. Citing his reasons for his departure from BOSETU, Malinga said BTU is showing a lot of potential and now it’s time he channelled his energies towards BTU.

“BTU leadership is still negotiating as to what role I play at BTU. Details of this new post will be revealed at a later stage,” said Malinga.

He said a good number of BOSETU members have indicated that they would be following him to BTU. 
He acknowledged that with an estimated membership of about 12,800 teachers, BOSETU was fast growing. BTU currently has a membership of about 14,000 teachers.

However, Tobokani Rari, the secretary general at BOSETU said he also agrees with BTU’s notion that teachers need one voice.

“At BOSETU we also believe that teachers need one union. Existing teacher unions should be talking of being united and coming up with one strong union,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said at the moment BTU and BOSETU are completely different unions with different mandates. In addition, Rari said they have no problems with Malinga’s departure and wished him well at his new home.

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