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Unions Warn 'Self-Serving' Politicians

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Workers Day commemorations were held in Gaborone on Saturday PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Labour unions have issued a strong warning to ‘self-serving' politicians as they plot ‘revenge’ against targeted individuals, particularly Members of Parliament, in the 2024 General Election.

Trade union leaders who spoke on the occasion to commemorate Workers Day hosted by Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) and the Botswana Federation of Public Private & Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) on Saturday. The unionists expressed disappointment at the crop of MPs whom they said care less about the plight of the workers and the people who voted them into office.

BOFEPUSU president, Johannes Tshukudu said they have been closely monitoring developments in Parliament since the 2019 elections, with a view to de-campaign self-serving MPs in the next general elections.

Tshukudu said they are plotting revenge on all MPs who have continued to display ‘bootlicking tendencies’ rather than being representatives of the people.

“We are watching what these people are doing. We will judge you by your own deeds in 2024. Those that are self-serving will be targeted,” Tshukudu said.

BFTU deputy president, Gaebepe Molaodi reiterated Tshukudu's sentiments adding that politicians should consider this as a friendly warning.

“Batho re ba romile kwa Palamenteng mme go itibile bone. Re tla kopana,” said Molaodi.

The labour leaders also berated President Mokgweetsi Masisi and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for failing to deliver on their election campaign promises.

Prior to

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2014, BOFEPUSU released what was popularly known as a 'hit list' of politicians who should be targeted and punished for not supporting workers' agenda in what was the first time local trade unions had made such a bold move before the general elections.

The list was dominated by candidates from the ruling party while Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader Dumelang Saleshando was the only opposition candidate on the list. With the union then declaring its support for the opposition bloc, Saleshando was singled out for sabotaging the opposition coalition after his party pulled out of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) talks.

Such was the effect of the BOFEPUSU 'hit list' that it went on to claim scalps of many candidates, especially in Gaborone where UDC won five out of six constituencies. Saleshando was among the shock losers as he lost the Gaborone Central constituency to political novice Phenyo Butale, who had less than six months to campaign.

Meanwhile, the federations raised concern over the level of readiness of the opposition bloc to wrestle power from the BDP and govern the country. Tshukudu said the opposition is in disarray and cannot be trusted.



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