The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) on Friday released a list of politicians they wish to decampaign because they consider them enemies of labour as the race for elections enters the last lap. The list features mostly the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidates and one opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) candidate. Among the list are Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Acting Minister of Education and Skills Development whom they call the number one enemy of democracy, Shaw Kgathi - acting minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration and Dumelang Saleshando.
On Friday Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, deputy secretary general of BOFEPUSU confirmed that the list was theirs, which also contains reasons for decampaigning the candidates. The Patriot on Sunday can also reveal that the name of former trade unionist Goretetse Kekgonegile-BCP candidate for Maun East also featured in the list because of his recent criticism of the federation leadership on social media. The name was pulled out because of disagreements between the federation leadership over handling the issue.
About Masisi, the federation said he is the most dangerous human being to democracy and good governance in Botswana. He has anointed himself as the chief propagandist and cog in machine of the current regime. They said bringing him to parliament will be bringing back disaster to the already bedridden democracy. "It’s a big NO VOTE for Masisi. We call upon the people of Moshupa to be heroes of this country and show Rre Masisi the door. He was at the forefront of bashing and scolding workers during the 2011 industrial action. Before deployment to Ministry of Education on acting basis, he has been heading a ministry that housed state media, an entity that has been used to promote state propaganda. This is the self-confessed bootlicker, a character that is dangerous to moral ethos of the nation. The kind of morality that will not be good to kids aspiring to be, but he promoted this morality while holding a public office," they said.
2. Kitso Mokaila
The federation says he belongs to the inner circle of the power base of the regime, and since Khama has declared workers and trade unions as his enemies, then also naturally they become Mokaila's enemies. They fault him with power and water shortages failures at his ministry. "These are the fundamental necessities of life. Voting him out will help injure the regime," they said.
3. Botsalo Ntuane
As one of the captains of the formation of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) he is blamed for jumping ship after promising fellow citizens the road to Denmark in the times of misery and despair in the republic. BOFEPUSU says: "When he and other leaders led an exodus from the ruling party to form an opposition party he spoke in very convincing and dedicated tone that the current regime is rotten and that its life span is nearing the end, to an extent of reminding the nation about the prophecy of one Dr N’gombe. Here was a priest Ntuane, preaching principle and vision of a nation under better governance. Now the captain to Denmark went back to the group that he said has brought rottenness to the country and its democracy. This means that only self-interest drove the man back to the system that he does not agree with, and for that, he is not trustworthy to be entrusted with interests and plights of a constituency".
4. Daniel Kwelagobe
His biggest 'crime' was inspiring young Turks out of the ruling party only for him to remain comfortably and declared his unyielding loyalty to a house that he despises. Some of the reasons advanced for mass exodus were undemocratic practices under the Khama rule, who even declared Kwelagobe old and unwell to lead. On the exodus, these were the young people who fought for Kwelagobe when he portrayed himself as an icon of democracy against the persecutions of Khama. "Surprisingly, Kwelagobe continued to be a part of a ruthless regime that he claimed not to be part of and thereby increasing its lifespan and holding its centre together. This is not objective at all. This is the right time to retire Kwelagobe as he is not willing to voluntarily," they stated.
5. Botlogile Tshireletso
The federation said the Mahalapye East MP has established herself as one of the great parrots of the regime and its defenders amidst declining human rights and poor conditions of service of workers in the country. They said Tshireletso even questioned the rationale of those who raised issue that there is something wrong with the current system because she sees no evil in the system and in fact has come out as one of the architects and posters of what the current regime stands for.
6. Dumelang Saleshando
His crimes: "During the 2011 Industrial action, workers faced a very ruthless regime that dismissed more than 2000 employees. Some of these workers are still in the wilderness of life and thrown into abject poverty while others had their families crumbling. Khama told workers that they can strike even for five years, and he doesn’t care. Workers then pleaded with leaders of opposition parties to unite into one formidable force to end the misrule of the current regime in 2014 elections. The leaders of the opposition parties agreed and signed with workers a social contract of sympathy vote towards the united opposition. Saleshando then decided to carry his organisation out of the opposition coalition, and thus reneging on his promises to the workers which he even made proclamations oath about and asked that any party that gets out of the coalition be punished. Of recent he has engaged in attacking labour movements and their leaders in political rallies and social media, and along the way showing elements of intolerances against other people’s life status and organisational independence".
7. Shaw Kgathi
BOFEPUSU says his obsession and arrogance in pledging loyalty to the regime has seen him seeing everything wrong with alternative voices in the country and thus showing great contempt for other social players. When he was appointed the Acting Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration he promised to improve relations with trade unions and ensure that government respects the Public Service Bargaining Council. "This turned out to be only a scam. This is one of the yes-men in the Khama administration whose voting out will relieve Batswana of more hardships under the Khama rule," they said.
8. Thapelo Olopeng
"The President’s right hand man simply does not deserve an entrance to parliament as he will only increase the number of a clan that is destroying the democratic credentials of this country. This is a man who will ensure continued rule of this regime and give it confidence. He represents everything that the president stands for," BOFEPUSU said.
9. Vincent Seretse
"As a minister he saw nothing wrong with wearing simultaneously the titles of honourable minister and court resident with corruption charges hovering over him. He failed to restore the dignity and worth of the ministerial office by disassociating it with criminal charges. Having to prosecute a minister could prove to be difficult and intimidating to judicial officers and prosecutors. This is a huge sin before the eyes of democracy and separation of powers. He also happens to be one of the altar personnel of the system and thus deserves no vote".
10. Christian de Graaf
"Brought BMC to its knees but failed to heed to the nation, calls that he has failed and ought to step down. Even the president refused to relieve him of his duties, and the explanation emerging is that he is the president’s buddy. He leads a group of elites in the agricultural and tourism industry that are bent on advancing their interests at the expense of ordinary farmers. He also saw nothing wrong with selling lions across the border under questionable circumstances. This is time for the nation to step him down for he refused to do that on his own".
11. Kagiso Molatlhegi
He is accused of being consistent in his anti-workers and trade unions crusade "trying hard to please his master who has the same attitude about workers and trade unions".
12. Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri
"This is a man who has been given the role of instilling deception unto unsuspecting citizens into thinking that there is goodwill on the part of government towards its people. We are told that this forms part of his profile as a politician. When he was appointed Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs & Public Administration he promised better relations between government and unions. True to his deception trade mark that never materialised as government‘s disdain for workers intensified and his ministry unleashed a strategy to make non-functional the Public Service Bargaining Council".
13. Mephato Reatile
"During the 2011 Industrial action he traversed the country giving hope and motivation to the workers in their strike or struggle. He spoke about the injustices brought about by the current Government on the workers and the poor, and he chanted slogans of regime change. Now he sits in the counterfeit oversight committee on DISS. His name get prominent mention on beneficiaries at the secretive organ, and this then means he is at the core of the nucleus of the system that he told workers to despise and revolt against. This is a man who can’t keep promises when principles clash with his personal desires".
14. Olebile Gaborone
"He is a beneficiary of undemocratic intervention by President Khama after he lost elections at party level. The efforts by Khama to protect himself can only mean that they share common interest beyond politics. It will also be dangerous to return him to parliament as it is clear that he is a simple praise-poet of the leader".