SHARE   |   Monday, 01 August 2016   |   By Topias Marenga

The history of trade unionism is interwoven within the ideals to make better the lives of workers who in turn make life better for their families hence their countries. Though we at Botswana Public Employees Union do not subscribe to the notion of trade unions in the collective aligning themselves with political parties, we continue to consider the trade union movement an important stakeholder in the political process. Trade Unions continue to be very vital cogs in the policy formulation process be it at national or organizational level . It is a democratic platform that must be utilised. We live in an economy ideas which form the base of the country’s economic backbone. We have no doubt that this much needed competition of ideas and ideology, no matter the format they are carried through, are for a sole national purpose to ensure the future and prosperity of the only country we have; Botswana. The workers remain at the forefront to sustain this fora for national prosperity.

The immediate past President’s Holidays, which was characterised by political parties going for their elective congresses, presented yet another milestone in the recognition of trade unionism in this regards. We have noted and observed with applaud the involvement of trade union leaders in the programmes of the elective congresses, particularly the Botswana People’s Party who had congressed in the north of the country for progressive dialogues, to seek mandate(s), to make appropriate resolution(s) and to decide on their new national leadership structure(s) for the next three years. This is not an easy task, and when completed with such tranquillity, peace, understanding and comradeship, must be celebrated and applauded as we do at BOPEU celebrate with these comrades. We salute you comrades!

We have noted the continual invitation by political parties to extend to the trade union movement an opportunity to offer words of encouragement, solidarity and comradeship, and this trend is equal to recognition. In the past elective congresses of the Botswana People’s Party, we saw with a strong and positive nod the address of the same congresses by a trade union leader; Comrade Ketlhalefile Motshegwa who is the Secretary General of Botswana Land boards Local Authorities and Health Union (BLLAWU) and also being the Deputy Secretary General of Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU). His address was with vigour and conscious of class struggle representation the BPP Congress.

It is in this regards that we implore all political parties within the political spectra to take a leaf from the books of the Botswana People’s Party and continue to engage the trade union movement in policy formulation. This is the kind of wisdom that will take us further than we have as a nation.
Yours in Workers Struggle,

Cde. Topias Marenga
General Secretary - BOPEU