PALAPYE: Veteran trade unionist Tobokani Rari defied the odds by retaining his position as the secretary general of the Botswana Sectors for Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) on Thursday evening.
Rari, who is also BOFEPUSU secretary general, triumphed against Innocent Mannathoko, who until the elections was the former’s vice. Leading into the elections there was a swelling opinion that Rari was destined to lose the elections. The elections were coordinated from Palapye but BOSETU members voted in various centres across the country.
Many of Rari’s critics accused him over staying in his position. His latest victory earned him a fourth consecutive three year term as the union secretary general. Rari was only challenged onve in his previous three terms.
With the exception of three positions, all executive positions were won by Winston Radikolo’s lobby team which Rari belonged to. The other lobby group belonged to Mpho Maruping who challenged Radikolo for the position of president.
At the executive elections Rari attracted 160 votes. His closest challenger Mannathoko managed 109 votes while Sekgwama Gobusamang could only attract 19 voters. Wabo Tshosa came a distant fourth with a solitary vote.
Other key members of the BOSETU executive managed to retain their positions with relative ease. Incumbent president Radikolo defended his position after thrashing Maruping by 174 votes to 115.
For the position of vice president, Mogomotsi Motshegwa prevailed over Mankoko Joel and veteran trade unionist Linda Sekgopa. Motshegwa
was voted by 158 people, while Joel and Sekgopa earned 114 and 17 votes respectively.
It was an even contest for Maruatona Botshelo and Othusitse Dibotlhale who were vying for the position of vice secretary general. Botshelo won after attracting 121 voters against Dibotlhale’s 109 votes. Former BOSETU Publicity secretary Edwin Maitshoko, who was an independent candidate, could only convince 57 voters.
In notable executive elections, Odrile Aboneng was voted treasurer. Bopa Mmoloki got the position of national organising secretary while the post of secretary for research and education went to Karabo Rampha. Rampha belonged to Maruping’s lobby team.
The position of publicity secretary was won by Nyatso Oreeditse who was also in Maruping’s team. Chatapiwe Mabutho was ushered in as the secretary for gender. The new BOSETU secretary for sports is Ndiyapo Modimo. Monica Legwale retained her position as the secretary for health and safety Monica Legwale. The new secretary for the primary sector is Mosa Modisa while Thomas Kajuu is the secretary for secondary education. Benjamin Seema, who was in Maruping’s lobby group, was voted the secretary for tertiary sector.
Immediately after being ushered in as president, Radikolo promised BOSETU members that his committee will run its affairs with transparency.