The Monitor :: Balopi Starts On A Wrong Footing
Last Updated
Sunday 18 February 2018, 21:00 pm.
Balopi Starts On A Wrong Footing

The newly-elected Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary general, Mpho Balopi has surely started on a wrong footing with his first public comments on a sensitive national issue, the public workersí delayed back pays.
By Monitor Editor Mon 14 Aug 2017, 11:02 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Balopi Starts On A Wrong Footing

Balopi is quoted undermining the public sector union federation, BOFEPUSU, painting them as an entity that is about to benefit, allegedly from a BDP congress resolution in Tonota, that amongst others according to Balopi, resolved to pay public servants’ back pays immediately.

We feel Balopi had missed the point, completely. Had he taken his time to grasp the gist and nitty-gritty of the matter, Balopi would have learnt that way before the BDP Tonota congress, where Balopi was elected secretary general, BOFEPUSU and the employer had long agreed that the BOFEPUSU public servants would be paid their three percent and four percent salary increments with effect from July month end, as well as back pays.

Had he made a little research, he would have found that the matter did not even need to have been escalated by his party’s congress, because the agreement between the public sector unions and the employer was already a done deal. Balopi could have appreciated that what BOFEPUSU made a follow up on recently, is something they have paper proof of, which they can use to hold the employer to her word.

For Balopi to come out and play cheap politics on a sensitive matter of people’s


salaries is very unfortunate and regrettable.

Instead of playing some cheap and futile point scoring game with the public service workers and their unions, Balopi could perhaps have done well to criticise his own government for seeming to renege on their commitment to the workers.

Balopi should know that it had been a painful, long and slow process for BOFEPUSU and the public service workers to get to where they are now on this matter. BOFEPUSU made concessions, painful ones for that matter, even going as far as having to abandon numerous court cases at the High Courts and Appeals Court against the employer, just to smoothen the path to the three and four percent back pays, for their members, during the negotiations with the employer. In fact, we are not only surprised but also gutted that the employer once again had to be reminded of their responsibility, obligations and commitment to pay the back pays.

Balopi should know that his duty as secretary general of the ruling party is not to be some fanatical comical loud mouth. He has the duty to rebuild tattered relations with the public sector unions, his party and government, and not to burn bridges.


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