Multitudes of trade unionists marched through Moshupa village in the Southern District on Tuesday afternoon demanding an apology from the area MP and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mokgweetsi Masisi following statements he made on radio on April 16.
“Rre Masisi tlogela bolope. Re dueleng re le bereketse. Ga se maloba le re fa dichenchi. Rre Masisi tlogela bolope. Ga se maabane o tlhapatsa batho. O jele kgano o mo laetse. Re dueleng re le bereketse,” literally meaning, “Mr Masisi stop boot licking. Pay us, we have worked for you (government). It’s not then when you used to give us few pennies. Mr Masisi stop boot licking. It is not yesterday when you insulted people. It is over. Pay us we have worked for you,” sang the workers as they gathered at District Commission office.
So aggrieved were the unions that they handed over a petition against Masisi which was however addressed to the state President, Ian Khama Seretse Khama.
“As workers and residents of Moshupa we strongly feel that the Honourable Minister misrepresented the wishes and views of workers in his constituency and has to urgently withdraw the statements,” read part of the statement, which was received by the deputy DC, Boresetse Modise.
The Unionists threatened that failure to do so, shall leave them with no other choice but to consider him “an enemy of the union who cannot be trusted with the office he holds beyond 2014.”
They further reminded the Minister that, they were fully aware that some of their members who reside in Moshupa played a part in voting for him, a result of which, he is a Parliamentarian.
On April 16, Masisi apparently made offending comments during a two hour long Radio Botswana program, “A re bueng.”
Some of the offensive comments he made are said to have been misleading with a potential to divide and intimidate union members, an act they said was against the strike rules they signed with the employer.
Masisi allegedly said unions have money as government gave them P30 million which the unions will use to pay striking members.
The unions thus demanded that Masisi makes a public apology not later than 29th April, a date which marks the last day of the strike.
“We request the Minister to have made a public apology at a Kgotla meeting or the same media that he used to attack workers on or before the 29th of April 2011.”