To government, he will be remembered as one of the ringleaders of the historic 2011 public sector strike but unionist Raymond Malinga is unfazed and sees himself more as a godsend defender of workers’ rights.
With that in mind, Malinga has set his eyes on Parliament.
After working for 13 years within the public service, the former teacher and union official has quit his job and intends to fight for workers rights on the floor of Parliament as a politician.
Malinga is of the view that unions cannot turn a blind eye to partisan politics because a party that is voted into power runs government.
“It is true that I have resigned and intend to join politics,” he revealed to The Telegraph this week. “I have played my part in teacher politics and I now want to serve and represent workers at another forum.”
Malinga is leaving the public sector as an employee in the department of tertiary education financing within the Ministry of Education and Skills Development.
Although he would not disclose his political home, The Telegraph has it on good authority that the former Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU) and Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) official intends to run for parliamentary office at the Gaborone West ÔÇôSouth constituency under the Umbrella For Democratic Party (UDM) or as a candidate for the Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
The constituency is currently held by Botsalo Ntuane of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
“I will announce my next port of call when I have officially severed ties with my employer…” he told The Telegraph.
Malinga said that so far only the BCP has invited him (Malinga) to join the party and although he finds the party’s profile appealing, he is yet to decide which party to join.
He added that it is time to align trade unions with political parties, including the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, if possible.