Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko says all sections of the civil society should be at the fore front of staging social discourse and there could be no better example than how trade unions are currently faring locally.
Addressing members of the media Monday after meeting with BOFEPUSU leaders in Gaborone, Boko said trade unions are now subjected to the full wrath of the ruling party because they have constantly displayed that they will defend the country’s constitution and will go all out to criticize government to rectify things.
In turn Boko says government have retaliated by ignoring court orders in which trade unions triumphed in their quest to defeat the injustice that everyone else is enduring at the hands of the current government. “Government is now countering court orders and judgements by making amendments to current laws in order to force its wishes to be done. The BEC and the Trade Dispute Act are some of such instrument that government intends to hold workers and trade unions at ransom with,” he said.
He urged trade unions not to despair and continue in their quest to uphold the principles of democracy. He urged unions and their members to attend the next parliament sitting in numbers during the dates in which government intends to table the amendments to laws that are aimed at inhibiting their rights. “ You should attend to monitor and identify the performance of each member on issues that affect you directly and shame them in return,” said Boko.
According to Boko their meeting with BOFEPUSU, which came at the UDC’s insistence, follows a resolution by UDC leadership to embark on consultative programme, which will see them meeting various organisations in the private sector and civil societies . “We have no agreement with BOFEPUSU whatsoever and do not need one. Our relationship is premised on shared values,” said Boko.
Meanwhile BOFEPUSU Secretary General Tobokani Rari confirmed that they have indeed entertained UDC officials and have conferred on certain issues of shared interest. According to Rari unions will in future vehicle labour issues to the UDC to consider and the UDC will in turn assist where they can.