The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) believes the revelations they made about the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) leadership will make the general membership of the union realise they were sold a dummy.
BOFEPUSU also believes that the membership would force the leadership to rejoin the federation.
BOFEPUSU accused the BOPEU leadership of misleading the masses into believing that affiliation with BOFEPUSU was a bad idea. “BOPEU started BOFEPUSU, they will be back, the masses will read what was said here today which is the truth and they will surely get back their union to the federation they started,” BOFEPUSU secretary for education Simon Molaodi told a press conference yesterday.
Deputy secretary general, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa had stated that Motsamai, who has challenged the federation for not presenting audited books, was the one who failed as he had in fact held powerful positions of presidency and then secretary general of BOFEPUSU.
“They also complain that their voice was not heard at the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC), but their Vice President Sikalame Seitiso was our Chief Negotiator, if anything he let his union down,” said Motshegwa.
Motshegwa said that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) approached the federation requesting that they field a unionist to tackle labour issues in Parliament after the demise of Gomolemo Motswaledi whereupon they chose Motsamai. “He went to consult his family and union who all gave him the green light. But just when we were about to finalise everything and submit his name he started having doubts and demanded that we give him an employment offer in case he loses,” he said. Motshegwa said they could not agree to that as they were right in front of UDC offices and also did not form a quorum to take such a decision.
For his part, BOFEPUSU secretary for labour Johnson Motshwarakgole said prior to the congress in February, BOPEU demanded the positions of president, secretary general and publicity secretary.
“We told them we would follow due process of voting at the congress, after they lost all the positions they contested in, we offered them vice presidency, youth secretary and health secretary posts but they rejected them. These posts are still vacant,” he said.
Motshwarakgole further said that BOPEU is not for sale and that no one could take it from BOFEPUSU.
The secretary general, Tobokani Rari said besides disaffiliation by BOPEU and an inefficient bid to stop government privatisation, the federation fared well in 2015.
“We managed to stop the president from interfering with the Public Sector Bargaining Council. We also managed to get recognition as a labour centre, we accepted workers from the private sector through their unions as well as being good influence in issues such as judicial crisis,” he said.