Sunday, November 29, 2020

Unions to boycott political candidates in 2014 elections

Five public sector Unions affiliated to the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) on Friday revealed that loss of confidence in the judicial system and what they called brutality towards their members will force them to engage actively in the coming 2014 general elections.

In an interview with Sunday Standard on the sidelines of a press conference, BOFEPUSU’s Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwarakgole, revealed that they will dictate to their more than 90 000 members which party or political coalition to support during the 2014 national elections.

According to Motshwarakgole, given the deteriorating socio and economic conditions under the current government, the union would not remain neutral to give members a free hand in voting for their preferred candidates or parties.

Motshwarakgole’s revelations were made on the same day that the union issued a press statement that they had decided to support the opposition in the coming by-elections to be held in Letlhakeng West.
“We are going to lobby our members to support and work with any coalition or party that has the best interests of the workers. We will urge our members and rally them behind such coalition or parties,” he said.

Explaining that they are not divided along political lines or affiliated to any party, Motshwarakgole said they would target what he called enemies of the people.

“We will map the way forward after the outcome of our Essential Service Employees case before the Court of Appeal on and the results of the Letlhakeng West bye elections. BOFEPUSU will hold meetings and demonstrations country wide,” he added.

On the Letlhakeng West’s Botswana Democratic Party Candidate Ngaka Ngaka, Motshwarakgole further explained that they have nothing against him as a candidate, but his party.

“It is not that we are aligned to any party, even in England trade unions participate in politics, it’s not a new thing. Our members will not vote for those who belong to parties that are enemies of the workers,” he said.

He also added they intend to meet MELS President Themba Joina to convince him to lobby his members to support the opposition in the coming Letlhakeng West bye elections.

Motshwarakgole described as a national catastrophe the localisation of the Court of Appeal in Botswana.

“The day the Court of Appeal was localised in Botswana was a sad one for the country’s democracy,” he said.

BOFEPUSU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, also shared Motswharkgole’s sentiments saying since the Judiciary system has been hijacked by the executive, they are left with no option but to look up to the political system.

“We have lost confidence in the judicial system and we believe that we can effect changes through the political system,” he said.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.