UDC’s jobs jamboree flops

The much-hyped jobs pitso at which the UDC was to demonstrate the feasibility of its much-vaunted creation of 100 000 jobs within a year of coming to power failed without so much as a whisper from the organisers who had gone online to advertise the jobs jamboree. There is instead much protestation in certain quarters that they were included without being invited in the decidedly partisan affair. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports

Batswana waited with baited breath for the Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) pitso on jobs that was widely advertised online for Ba Isago University in Gaborone last Thursday.
However, although the UDC has not posted this fact online, the “Jobs Conversation Featuring Industry Experts” did not take place and has been postponed. Only those with a hotline to the party become aware of the change by calling spokesman Moeti Mohwasa.

In the meantime, certain organisations have protested their inclusion for the reason that they were never approached. The Botswana Musicians Union, whose member Seabelo Modibe was listed as a panelist, is one of them.

The pitso comes against the backdrop of the UDC’s pledge to demonstrate how the party plans to transform the economy to support accelerated job creation. “Even though the poster was shared online, we have decided to postpone the event to a later date that we will communicate,” Mohwasa told The Botswana Gazette. “The event will definitely be held before the elections. We decided to postpone it because we are still finalising a few logistics, and as soon we are done, it’s all systems go!”

The event was to feature the best panelists from a wide spectrum of fields, especially sports, music and ICT. Mohwasa says the much hyped pitso was to demonstrate the UDC’s pledge to create 100,000 decent jobs in 12 months of attaining power and capacity to sustain a living wage of P3000 per month.

“This debate comes after the government announced that they are freezing government employment,” he says. “The speakers will talk about the massive contributions their respective sectors can make to our economy. We aim to grow the economy at 6-8% per annum.”

Not so, says BOMU. In a statement, the organisation says it had ascertained that it was never officially invited to participate in the event after it contacted Modibe and the UDC. It acknowledges that some artists may have individually wanted to attend the jobs pitso but emphasises that BOMU has not officially endorsed it.

Indeed, Modibe admits that he was approached as an individual but says he could not confirm participation because he is due to attend the Kreol Festival in the Seychelles.
On the other hand, Mohwasa insists that BOMU was invited but says the UDC has produced another flyer for the pitso which does not mention BOMU. The interim president of BOMU, Otsile Ramorwa, says although members do perform at political rallies and some are council candidates countrywide, the organisation does not get involved in partisan politics and does not officially support any political party.

“We have been made to understand that one of the activists shared the wrong flyer on social media without the consent of the PR team of the UDC,” Ramorwa explains. “Both parties have resolved this amicably. As BOMU, we are impressed at the huge appetite of all political parties for investing in the creative industry in order to monetise it and create employment and wealth for Batswana.”