Says it is the same excuse all the time


The Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has dismissed the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) recent retreat as a poor excuse for a gathering after 50 years of failing the country.

Speaking at the retreat, President Mokgweetsi Masisi called on ministers, MPs and elders of the BDP to refocus their energies and acknowledge that there had been challenges along the way, thus the government’s poor service delivery.

Responding to Masisi’s address, the president of BOFEPUSU, Johannes Tshukudu, told The Botswana Gazette that the BDP had failed to demonstrate political will to change the landscape of joblessness that is characterized by poorly paid workers. Tshukudu said the BDP’s analysis of issues had become tedious after 54 years of the humdrum.

“Calling a meeting and repeating what has been said over the last 54 years is not going to help. What can be an inspiring solution is coming up with a strategic programme to revitalize the public sector. What we saw was empty talk where the President continues to make promises without action. We want to see results because people need service delivery. I do not understand what is being ‘reset’ by the BDP,” he noted in reference to the theme of the Domkrag retreat.

The unionist said it was disturbing that MPs of the ruling party recently stood and voted against a motion for Botswana to adopt a living wage rather than merely a minimum wage. “A living wage is important because it is bound to assessing the cost of living and ascertaining whether it is still feasible for the working class to continue receiving the same wages against an ever-rising cost of living,” Tshukudu pointed out.
He asserted that foreign companies dominate the economy and expatriate their profits under Botswana’s exchange control liberalization. “Batswana are spectators in the economy,” he said. “It was even reported that most foreign companies generated huge profits that were laundered outside the country.”

By contrast, Ipelegeng is reserved for Batswana as decent employment, Tshukudu said, referring to the intermittent public works programme in which people work on a rotational basis. “The people for whom Ipelegeng is reserved are the ones targeted during elections,” he asserted. “It is absolutely heartbreaking.”
The unionist emphasized that BOFEPUSU is not convinced that BDP will change anything. “Nothing has changed over the last 48 years,” he said. “It is the same excuse every now and then.”