Recently the nation woke up to the news that a case launched by the Manual Workers Union, led by famed trade Unionist Johnson Motshwarakgole resulted in not only the Presidentís Powers shamefully reduced, but further throwing the Court of Appeal (CoA) in limbo, as six Judges appointed by the President were declared illegal, thereby rendering the CoA non-existent until such constitutional matters pertaining to the appoint of the CoA Judges have been resolved by Parliament.
While the historic case surely rubber-stamps the rule of law and underlining that no one even the President can be above the law, perhaps most importantly this is one case that defines the deep differences between the Government led by Ian Khama as President and the labour movement led by Johnson Motshwarakgole.
Since Government decided to play hard ball with the trade Union, going as far as frustrating the trade Union efforts including reversing laws, taking away their organisational rights, the trade Union movement did not just fold arms. In 2014 they came very close to deciding who won the General Elections, and many agree that they will be a decisive factor once again in 2019.
The latest move to challenge the powers of the President successfully also demonstrates how seriously the labour movement would retaliate against the regime, including causing constitutional chaos like it has happened in this latest case. Those in the know say that this is just one of an
Perhaps this is the time to realise that the war against the trade Union movement can have far reaching consequences and try and find how to work together amicably.
That being said, the Manual Workers’ stand to challenge the constitutionality of certain powers of the President is most welcome. Indeed the responsibility of a trade Union is not just caring for its subscribers by means of loans, funeral benefits, but also to be the agent of change in a democratic set up.
This is one area where Motshwarakgole’s Manual Workers have excelled; they have hosted seminars on unemployment, consistently produced reviews of the Vision 2016, as well as delving into constitutional matters in order to contribute to developing the democracy of this country, and for that they deserve to be applauded.