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Butterflys January salary chopped, gets P0.00 net pay

Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) agent Welheminah Maswabi code named ‘Butterfly’, has this week through her attorney, Uyapo Ndadi wrote to Director General of the DIS and Attorney General, a statutory notice of intention to sue in terms of Section 4 of the State Proceedings Act.

According to the notice ‘Butterfly’ is seeking a court order declaring that; the decision of the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) contained in a letter dated the 25th November 2019 and the 9th December 2019 stopping her Fixed Overtime Allowance be reviewed, set aside and be declared a nullity because it is unlawful;

Furthermore, that the decision of the Director General still contained in the aforesaid letters, stating that Maswabi should not leave her duty station, without prior authorisation is unlawful, and ultra vires the Constitution of Botswana as it interferes with Maswabi’s right to privacy and also imposes a new term in the contract of employment devoid of her consent.

Butterfly also wants an order that the act to withhold half of her salary and other emoluments on the 14th January 2020 leaving her with a net pay of P0. 00 is unlawful, irrational and unconscionable, consequently embarrassing her financially. Again she wants the decision of the Directorate General or any officer acting under him be corrected or set aside and that her full benefits be paid out forthwith and henceforth.

According to Attorney Uyapo Ndadi, her client was not consulted about the variation of her benefits and the variation is certainly without her consent, which renders the decision unlawful. “The allowances, including overtime allowance, are fixed and not dependent on whether Maswabi has worked or not”.

Ndadi wrote that Section 35 (3) of the Public Service Act provides that an employee’s salary shall not be withheld during the period of his or her suspension. Section 16 (2) of the Employment Act provides that it is the duty of the employer to provide work to the employee and if he fails to provide work the employee shall be paid wages at the same rate as if the employee had performed a full day’s work, whether the employee is or is not released from the workplace. Section 79 (1) of the Employment Act provides that deductions that are not authorized by the employee are prohibited except those provided by the law.

Uyapo Ndadi submits that what also emerges from Maswabi’s advice slip shows that the employer has not paid the Income Tax on the half salary paid, which is also unlawful as it is contrary to the Income Tax and Employment Act. “The claimant is for no unlawful reason being financially embarrassed and her credit worthiness compromised because she would not be able to service her monthly stop orders for loans and other commitments. The claimant hereby intends to institute the proceedings seeking the above orders after the expiry of the statutory notice and will however on an urgent basis seek an interim order compelling full payments in the meanwhile”.

For the avoidance of doubt, Maswabi, if the government does not pay her full salary and benefits by Friday, 24th January 2020 (yesterday), will have no choice but to approach court for a remedy.  In a letter dated 25th November 2019, bearing DIS Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi’s signature, the third paragraph reads, “During the period of interdiction, you shall continue to draw your full salary and all benefits attached thereto except overtime allowance. You are further advised that during the period of interdiction your conduct shall remain subject to Intelligence and Security Services Act and other policy documents governing your employment with the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.

During the period of interdiction, you shall not leave your duty station without prior authorisation. Upon receipt of this letter of interdiction, you are ordered to surrender to your immediate supervisor your identity card and any firearm and ammunition that have been issued to you”. On the 29th November 2019, Maswabi wrote back to Magosi acknowledging receipt of the interdiction letter, however she raised several issues amongst them; questioning the legal basis of stopping her fixed allowance.

According to Maswabi, in law, no such adverse decision is acceptable and Magosi’s decision is consequently unlawful and thus she is affording him the opportunity to reverse it. “My overtime allowance enjoys the same protection in law as my scarce skill allowance,” she said.  Welheminah Maswabi also dismissed Magosi’s submissions that she has in her possession a firearm and ammunition. “I advise that I am not in possession of any” she affirmed.

In a letter dated 9th December 2019, responding to Maswabi’s issues Magosi said, payment of overtime is governed by the Conditions of Service (“Conditions”) of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (“Directorate”). In particular Section 8.2 of the Conditions state that Officers of the Directorate are required to work excess hours and they would earn a fixed overtime allowance. If at any time any employee is continuously not working the overtime, they will cease to earn the allowance.

“It follows then that since you have been relieved from the exercise of powers and carrying out duties as an Officer of the Directorate you will not be required to work overtime and thus not eligible to earn it. I cannot over emphasize the need to abide by the provisions of the Security and Intelligence Act as well as all policy documents governing your employment with the Directorate. If for any reason you have not followed the contents of your letter of interdiction I urge you to do so immediately,” wrote Magosi.

In another letter dated 4th February 2019, confirming Welheminah Maswabi’s confirmation of employment to her bank (FNBB), it states that she earns P 276 780.00 per annum and her allowances are fixed. Welheminah Maswabi’s advisory slip dated 13 December 2019, attached as part of court documents, shows that her basic salary amounts to P 23, 236. 00, Overtime Allowance P 5, 047. 00, Scarce Skill Allowance P8, 832. 80, Special Duty Allowance P 146. 33 and plain clothes allowance P195, 15 and her monthly total earnings was P39, 457. 22.

After total deductions of P17, 089. 42 her net salary was P 22, 357.85. Another salary advice dated 14th January 2020 shows that Maswabi’s basic salary after her salary was slashed by half was P 12, 618. 00 and after total deductions her net salary was P0. 00.

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BTC launches the 3rd Francistown Marathon 2024 and handover proceeds to the 2nd Francistown Marathon beneficiaries

8th December 2023

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.

BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203.  BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.

The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.

Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTC’s commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that “the annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistown”. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that “the donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTC’s commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industries”.

He further stated that through this marathon, “we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active society”.  He concluded by stating that “BTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at large” he said.

Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that “he is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathon”. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the “CSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communities”, he said.

The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.

 

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Letsholo lauds President Masisi’s digitization in fight against corruption

8th December 2023

Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.

According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.

The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.

Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.

Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.

Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.

In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.

 

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FaR property assets value clock P1.47 billion

6th December 2023

FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.

FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.

One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.

Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.

In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.

FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.

The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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