Union Federation, BOFEPUSU has warned opposition parties to get their house in or lose out on workers’ support.
This comes against the backdrop of a reported tussle for constituencies between the Botswana Congress Party and Botswana Patriotic Front and allegations of sabotage to gain executive positions within the BPF.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, BOFEPUSU President Johannes Tshukudu said the federation will not rally behind them in their current state, adding that the brawl within opposition politics was counterproductive.
“The brawl at UDC is as worrisome as is counterproductive especially given the poor performance of the BDP”
“We are watching the developments within opposition with keen interest” said Tshukudu.
Tshukudu also stated that they were planning to meet opposition parties soon to evaluate their performance in the 2019 general elections.
“We are planning to have an evaluation of the 2019 general election to map the way forward. We can’t avoid each other for good. We are the elections game changer and that’s a fact,” said Tshukudu.
In the 2014 general elections, BOFEPUSU rooted for the UDC to unseat the ruling BDP but tables turned in the next elections in 2019 when the federation took a decision to remain neutral, a move that was widely seen to be favoring the BDP.
As the most populated federation we are open to anything that can liberate Batswana with UDC.
He said it was important for opposition parties to do all they can to unite as this could also motivate the ruling party Botswana Democratic Party to take governance of the country serious in the knowledge that there is a strong opposition party waiting.
“As for engagement we will be ready to do so with a clear objective of checking if indeed they are ready to govern this Republic. “It must be noted Botswana is not on sale such that any fly by-night political party can be given to rule without convincing the electorates and civil society that they are up to the challenge,” charged Tshukudu.
He also advised opposition leaders to seek mediation from the union federation in order to put their house in order.
“Our message to them is to be tolerant of each other and put the interest of the republic and people before their individual interests”
“They must know that they are the last hope for Batswana. As such they must redefine their objectives as they engage each other as it is evident that no single political party can win elections from the BDP,” said Tshukudu.
He also said although BOFEPUSU welcomes opposition’s desire to work with former President Ian, the latter should be closely monitored.
“It is a problem to determine political affiliation of Khama because as a citizen the Constitution protect his rights of association and affiliation to any political party of his choice. His involvement is a double-edged sword and as such needs to be closely monitored. He can be of help to the opposition but he should not be allowed to call the shots,” he said.
He said Botswana is a democratic state and as such they expect the UDC to do what majority of affiliating partners advise the leadership to do.
“We cannot dictate what they should do but rather encourage them to do the right thing. That would bring peace and harmony in the coalition,” said Tshukudu.