UDC March For Water

UDC members during the march on Friday
UDC members during the march on Friday

As the water crisis in the southern part of the country hit an all time high, with the greater Gaborone running dry due to water rationing, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) took to the streets on Friday to demand water and electricity. The march from Mogoditshane through the streets of Gaborone, however, missed one notable figure, the UDC president Duma Boko.

The main opposition, though stressing that the march was not a political move, had multitudes donned in the UDC colours and was supported by the smaller opposition Botswana Congress Party and the trade unions under the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU). The demonstrators, led by among others, the UDC secretary general, Ndaba Gaolathe, the Gaborone Central MP, Phenyo Butale and fellow opposition parliamentarians, seemed to be intent on delivering their message in the cold wet morning.

They carried political messages of demand and sang provocative songs pointed at the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and its leadership. President Ian Khama was the toast with some of the placards reading: ‘Khama le sa go kaila kaila re batla metsi’, ‘WUC e kae Thothi re e somarele’, ‘We want water not talk’.

When handing the petition to an official from the Office of the President, Gobe Pitso, the UDC announced that it would hold a massive peaceful demonstration on Wednesday where they  planned to hand over a petition on the water crisis to President Khama.

The party expressed disappointment that the President did not receive the demonstrators in person but sent a low level officer.

“We expected the President to be here, but instead they chose to send a representative, I hear they had said they would send an intern to do the job, it just goes to show how serious they take this issue,” said Johnson Motswarakgole, veteran unionist and organising secretary of the UDC partner trade union, BOFEPUSU.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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