Khama must apologise to Batlokwa

SHARE   |   Monday, 10 April 2017   |   By Justin Hunyepa
Khama must apologise to Batlokwa

President Ian Khama has been grossly unfair to Batlokwa and the Tlokweng constituents in general by unreasonably refusing with the writ for so long. The President took just a month to issue the Goodhope–Mabule constituency writ of elections after the resignation of the area MP. James Mathokgwane resigned on 3rd June 2015 and on 8th July 2015 the President issued the writ and the election was subsequently held on 15th August 2015. The writ was out in a record one month period and elections held in three months time! Honourable MP Same Bathobakae passed away on 28th November 2016 and the writ is out after almost five months and elections are to be held seven months later! In the Goodhope-Mabule by-elections, the President moved with lightning speed with the hope that he will outfox the opposition and have his close ally and confidante, Eric Molale elected and therefore help resolve the Vice Presidency headache as Mokgweetsi Masisi was not preferred. It is therefore morally correct for President Khama to humble himself and apologise to Batlokwa for the serious inconvenience, lack of representation and prolonged uncertainty he has caused. The Tlokweng constituents waited since last year for His Excellency to exercise his discretion diligently, reasonably and without bias or abuse of same. The President chose to do the contrary and elections will now be held seven months later. We are aware that the Electoral Act does not specify any timeframe to issue a writ. However, the Legislature did not by that fact authorise abuse of discretion or sanction impunity. Tlokweng constituents and Batswana throughout the country should be applauded for pressurising the President through different means and even threatening to embark on national demonstrations and occupying the Office of the President car park.

The absence of an MP in Tlokweng prejudiced the constituents in the following ways: No one advocated for developments for Tlokweng in the recent Budget session as you delayed to issue the writ; There was no person representing the interests of Batlokwa; There was no person who took complaints and issues adversely affecting Batlokwa to relevant government offices; Parliament discussed Ministerial budgets and the constituents were deprived a voice in all these platforms; And many other issues of interest to Batlokwa and Batswana in general. Furthermore, there has been no communication nor update on why the President did not issue the writ, hence the call for unconditional apology. As the writ is now out, we call upon all the progressive forces to increase their presence in Tlokweng and help restore democracy and social justice by mobilising and voting for the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate Kenneth Masego Segokgo.
The BDP-led government has subjected the workers and Batswana to untold misery despite the mammoth wealth and a small population. Here is a government that has flouted all our labour laws and even International Labour Organisation (ILO) ratified conventions. The recent High Court judgment on the unlawful public salary increments in 2016 and 2017 by the BDP-led government is a clear example of how uncaring, careless, ruthless and evil the government can be to its workers. We applaud the gallant fight by BOFEPUSU as the courts have vindicated them. We, therefore, call upon all registered voters in Tlokweng and those who may have moved elsewhere to come and cast a vote for UDC on 13th May 2017.
Justin Hunyepa
Botswana National Front Publicity Secretary
UDC Labour Secretary