PALAPYE: Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has resolved to adopt a neutral stance regarding support for political parties in the coming general elections.
BOFEPUSU’s governing council met at Majestic Five hotel here this weekend where a resolution was taken to allow its members to vote openly.
Its decision was guided by the assessment of the political consultant who it had engaged to evaluate the nation’s political environment.
The federation’s spokesperson, Mogomotsi Motshegwa said he trusts that their members understand the dynamics of the country’s political landscape and would therefore vote wisely.
“Our members know what is politically right and what is wrong. They know who has supported our struggle and we urge them to go out and vote wisely for whoever they feel will best advance their interests for the next five years,” Motshegwa said.
He rubbished claims that the union has adopted to support any party, but not those linked to former president Ian Khama.
The speculation was fuelled by recent reports where the federation’s president, Johannes Tshukudu, blatantly spoke against Khama.
He was quoted at a Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union pre-conference debate held here recently, saying Khama’s administration was tyrannical to the workers and in his 10 years, Parliament passed laws that abused workers.
“It is not true that we don’t support anything to do with Khama, we took a neutral position on who to vote for in the coming general elections. It’s a resolution that the governing council fully backed,” Motshegwa reiterated.
In their view, he said democracy has matured and there was no instability in the country as other people purport.
He pointed to the increased number of political parties that are canvassing for support and having a former president campaigning in the opposition ranks as factors that reflect the level of democratic maturity.
“To us it’s political growth, it is not instability. It helps democracy; it gives us ample information to make an informed decision when we vote.”
In the 2014 elections, the federation put its weight behind the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) that at the time the union felt was sympathetic to the plight of the workers.
The federation does not feel they have disappointed UDC by the open approach nor feel the umbrella has failed them in the past five years.
Motshegwa said members would make their own assessment as to whether they were satisfied with how UDC faired when they gave it the support. He said they had been together with the members in the analysis of nation’s politics.