Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has welcomed the relationship developing between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The BOFEPUSU deputy secretary general Ketlhalefile Motshegwa said cooperation and unity between the opposition parties is necessary and healthy for Botswana. “This gesture is long overdue and Batswana are thirsty for it,” said Motshegwa.
“Given the prevailing massive socio-economic challenges facing this country, there is need for united, strong and vibrant opposition that is even ready for change of government. Our country is faced with colossal scale corruption, mismanagement of public resources, rising unemployment, leadership that is not accountable, democratic institutions are under siege, the laws of the country seems not to be applicable to those at the upper echelons of power, a society that lives in fear of its own government, civil service whose appointments are based on nepotism and favouritism,” he said.
Motshegwa added that the circumstances prevailing “typically fosters little creativity in decision-making as there is only one voice from above. There are also crises of utilities such as water, electricity, mess in education, a society that is divided and despairing. All these challenges could be subjected to poor governance, leadership vacuum, and unaccountable government that behaves like they are eternal in their mandate of governance”.
He said unity between opposition parties is not only important but also urgent given the velocity at which democratic credentials are regressing. “There is currently no positive link between abundant resources that the country possesses and the tangible development and state of lives of people.
The answer to that is mismanagement of the economy for personal aggrandisement by political leadership. There has been neglect of service to the nation as political leadership is busy lining up their pockets and competing as to who loots most of the economy.” “A united opposition will currently help in balancing power to put the current government in check and accountable. The leaders of UDC and BCP need to be courageous, be objective and put the interests of the nation first and build a formidable opposition block that is vibrant on societal issues and ready for Government at any time.
What is to be pursued is not only parliamentary change but change the thinking of government and the behaviour of institutions to a level of quality public services to the people, respect and upholding of human rights, strengthening of democratic institutions against notion of strong leaders, responsible and accountable leadership, public service appointments based on merit and competence, good management of the country’s economy towards the greater benefit of Batswana.”
Motshegwa explained that the opposition has a patriotic, sacrificial and sacrosanct assignment to bring unity among itself for nurturing of democracy of Botswana. “If they can’t carry this undertaking then the history and heavens will not forgive them for subjecting Batswana to jaws of looming and autocracy that is establishing itself with leaders who are only accountable to themselves,” he concluded.