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BNF solidarity message delivered to BOSETU 2017 Palapye congress

Justin Hunyepa
The Botswana National Front (BNF) is a mass movement formed in 1965 and to this day, the it continues to preach unity amongst opposition parties.

The formation of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) was a welcome development as BNF dream was achieved. With the coming on board of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), there is only one opposition strong party that is going to remove the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 2019. The BNF strongly believes in the current ongoing mediation efforts by UDC and is very confident that a long-lasting solution will be reached. The BNF would therefore like to caution BOSETU members to focus on the bigger picture of regime change in 2019 and not to be distracted by the social media and some local newspaper speculations that a new party is being formed.

The BNF is happy with the positive progress being made at the UDC mediation efforts as the BMD Ndaba Gaolathe committee has already been met and the Sidney Pilane led committee will be met soon between September 4 and 6. The BNF still upholds the BOFEPUSU principled position of politically punishing those who dare leave the UDC project.

This principle was aptly applied in 2014 and BCP was given a taste of that as they were not in UDC. The BNF therefore calls upon BOSETU members to focus and aim for the bigger picture (2019) and not be swayed by

unfounded speculations of a new party as one of the BMD’s new committee (Ndaba led) has even made it clear that they are committed to the mediation efforts.

This BNF solidarity statement is on the backdrop of the BOSETU theme that bemoans challenges bedevilling the bargaining council: Teacher Trade Unions Championing Educators Rights in the Midst of Collective Bargaining Challenges in Botswana. The BNF believes the solution to the Bargaining Council (BC) challenges and other national issues is regime change which can only be achieved by a united opposition. It is the duty of the government to provide conducive working and living conditions of the workers through legislation and policies. We have instead seen the government disrespecting the same laws she has established like the Trade Disputes Act (amended to make teachers and other cadres essential services against ILO standards); Public Service Act (which led to the collapse of the BC as government disrespected its provisions); BEC case (government amending it to force teachers to invigilate and mark external examinations despite the 2009 judgement that stated that it is not the duty of teachers).

We are therefore committed to the UDC unity which will unseat the BDP in 2019. VIVA BOSETU VIVA!

*Justin Hunyepa is BNF Information and Publicity Secretary

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