Before one takes a position on what has been in the public domain about BOFEPUSU saying this or that, it may be very important to understand what BOFEPUSU is, how the federation was formed and how it operate. Obviously there is no how I can start making any analysis without bringing in the name Motswarakgole. To make it easy for anyone one to follow, I will choose to focus on Motswarakgole as the brain behind the formations of BOFEPUSO, with his partner in crime then being Cde Motsamai the current BOPEU President. The main reason for him to have done so was to have a federation that he could take decision on behalf of without consulting his membership. He had for all these year’s manipulated Manual Workers Union and made sure that the name Motshwarakgole and MWU can be used interchangeably. If you see Motshwarakgole driving his personal car, then you have seen MWU behind the wheels. If for any reason he decides to make any negative social behavior for example if he can choose to urinate in the public, then MWU has done so. Just like the way Cde Vavi behaved at COSATU is exactly what he has achieved. Cde Vavi was so drunk with COSATU power that he could not imagine a girl working at COSATU office refusing his sexual advances. For him there was no girl in the republic Of South Africa (black, coloured, Indian or white), could resist sleeping with COSSATU. I will later demonstrate how the old man Motshwarakgole has mastered his art. It started long back when he could not stay at BFTU because at BFTU institutions were more respected than a person.
I remember how I joked then when I said Motshwarakgole behaves like a clown, he releases bad smell in a house (BFTU) and later stand out and tell people to get out because it smells. His starting point was to consolidate his power at Manual Workers Union. His first assignment was to ensure that the Union Constitution was crafted in his favour, after he succeeded in dealing with all his critics, Cde Motshwarakgole knew that the next level of Union power was at Federation level. For some time he tried to influence how BFTU could operate. The unfortunate thing with him at BFTU was that the structure at BFTU is more on the institution than on persons. There is a reporting and consultative structure from all sectors of the trade unions and he had no room to bring his name to replace BFTU. He realised that even if he takes over as BFTU President, the process of taking decisions was just too cumbersome and not for persons like him. He knew he had to do something. The first thing he had to do was to find faults at BFTU but in all his attempts he failed. He then realised he had to be more creative and find a strategy. The focus was on him having something as powerful as BFTU regardless of how much that something divided the federation. He stopped subscriptions to BFTU. I remember at a BFTU Congress as a BOSETU delegate when we were seized with the matter of terminating his union. While it was constitutional for us to do so congress gave a waiver because some of us read some ulterior motives and did not want to fall in his trap. He was given time but because he knew what he wanted he proceeded.
Taking advantage from a new statute (The Public Service Act) Motshwarakgole moved together with BOPEU to form BOFEPUSU. In Cde Motsamai Cde Motshwarakgole had found a real partner in crime, a strategist who he banked on to achieve his mission. Our attempts while at BFTU to show Public service Union that a structure like BOFEPUSU was not necessary as it could still attain legal and constitutional power under BFTU fell on deaf ears. We watched helplessly when our own structures where infiltrated by Motswarakgole and Cde Motsamai. Some of us who have been real foot soldiers refused to be “urinated on our heads and be told its raining”. I watched helplessly when my new President Cde Hlabano started admiring Cde Motsamai and chose to completely believe in him. I am saying so because I could not understand him anymore and he refused any reason I advanced on remaining at BFTU. He confused me to a point where sometime as he walks into the office, I would confuse him with Cde Motsamai. He talked like him, ate like him and though it may just have been my imagination I also concluded he started walking like him. Then while in a shock, Cde Rari also developed a fever. The stories now being told everybody was that any union that will come late at BOFEPUSU will be closed out, that confused everyone. I remember at one point with the late BTU President Cde Ramajwe when he reasoned with me that as much as he liked BFTU he will go down in history as the worst leader when BTU is not part of a bargaining unit. The wind blew fast and BLAHWU also got infected. I remember then BOSETU was represented at BFTU by our Vice President Cde Sebogodi and Our Secretary General the current BOSETU President Cde Modukanele. I believed so much with these two comrades that we were being sold a wrong story here but Modukanele’s deputy then Cde Rari , Cde Hlabano (BOSETU President) and Publicity Secretary Cde Motshegwa who is currently BOSETU vice president were now on the side of Cde Motsamayi and Cde Motshwarakgole. That is why even up to date, I cannot forgive Cde Motsamai for whatever mistake he did in partnering with Cde Motshwarakgole. As intelligent as he is, he could have assessed his motives. He was used for a bigger picture and later when it was convenient he was treated like “used condom”. He was thrown away for much younger blood in Cde Rari and Cde Motshegwa (The current BLAHWU Secretary General). It may be of great help to warn Cde Rari and Cde Motshegwa to watch out. As soon as he saw them invading his power at BOFEPUSU, he will treat them like any other person. However, as a strategist, Motshwrakgole is good at his game. He always makes sure that he gives the necessary favours to his boys in order for his mission to remain relevant. That is why I was not surprised that the decision by BOFEPUSU not to support Rre Masisi for BDP Chairmanship was announced at the same press conference that was in solidarity with Cde Motshegwa appearing before a disciplinary hearing. Motshwarakgole knows very well that everytime he must give a little bit of something to his boys to keep up with the pace.
To understand how BOFEPUSU operate, one must accept the fact that Motshwarakgole is BOFEPUSU and BOFEPUSU is Motshwarakgole. I hold a strong view that sometimes some arguments he picks from other set up for example his party Botswana National Front or with his wife are later announced as that of the federation. He operates like in a game of chess and in that game he is the “King”. During those happy days, Motsamai could be compared to the “Queen”, Cde Rari is a “Bishop or Castle” and his moves are only in diagonal line, Diagonal to ensure that they serve the real musters interest. While Cde Motshegwa is a “knight” who sometimes jump other pieces in order to achieve his goal. For the first time in History, BOFEPUSU has chosen a “ pawn” as its president. The current BOFEPUSU President behaves like a real pawn because his moves are only limited to one step at a time. Because Cde Motsamai was a Queen, for many times he threatened the king with a check mate. Cde Motsamayi must go back to build BFTU that he helped to destroy. And I believe Cde Mohatshwa (BFTU Secretary General) is in agreement with me because we had shared a lot on this view.
Decisions at BOFEPUSU must never be comparable to a chess game. In reality, members are to take decisions and leadership must then implement them. In Trade Unions as I assume is the case with politics, members must make resolutions on matters that affect them. At BFTU and for sometime at BOFEPUSU especially during the 2011 strike, this is what some of us really fought for. I remembered how I accompanied Cde Mahumba and tirelessly consulted members to get their views and seek for a direction from them. We made sure that even though sometimes we had our own views, we sought the direction of the masses because its them we were representing. This tried and tested practice will not apply at BOFEPUSU until everybody understands the brain behind this movement. And I am just offering my service and avail my experience to the public to be aware of this problem.
Those who have been lied to and told they belong to BOFEPUSU must wake up. The first point of call is to vote Cde Motshwarakgole out of BOFEPUSU but let me warn you that will be a high hill to climb. He can however be punished for making everybody a fool. From now up to 2019 its an easy thing. Give him a platform to say his views and move to do exactly the opposite of what he has asked you to do. This lesson will help him to give you your BOFEPUSU. If he says vote UDC, punish him and vote BDP in large numbers. But now that he has made personal choice and used BOFEPUSU to justify is decision, , this is a blessing in disguise, Vote Cde Masisi for BDP Chairmanship. In my next article, I will deal at length with all the advantage that comes with supporting Rre Masisi and preparing him for the Presidency. We must love our Republic and protect it from individuals who don’t respect institutional process.
This must come as a fact. Cde Motshwarakgole is not BDP. If he can misdirect his cousin Rre Kwelagobe and later tell people not to vote him, who are you to seek his wisdom if at all he has one. I watched helplessly how comrade Kwelagobe fell in Motswarakgole’s trap. I saw him several times appearing with Rre Motshwarakgole in some cases before courts then being chauffeured around in Unions Vehicles’ and felt sorry for the old man. All along I asked myself on how trusting was Rre Kwelagobe when I saw how a trusted partner in crime (Cde Motsamai) fell out with Cde Motshwarakgole, I felt sorry for Rre Kwelagobe. Rre Kwelagobe o jelwe kego sa thaloganya Motshwarakgole. My advice to BDP is that put this “dog” in its right chain” Motshwarakgole is a long time BNF activist don’t be fooled. As they say, “you can fool some people most of the time and you can fool most people some of the time but you cannot fool all people all the time”.
Raymond Malinga (Activist)