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New DPSM Director faces jail sentence

Newly appointed Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) Director Goitseone Mosalakatane has been dragged to court for contempt of court. The application seeking to imprison the new DPSM Director for contempt of court will be heard next week.

In the case, Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Unions (BOSETU) wants court to impose upon her, a jail sentence or such sentence as it considers appropriate. The teachers union also wants the court to order government to pay the costs of the application on a scale between attorney and client. The said contempt of court comes following the High court judgement delivered on the16th day of August 2017 where there was a consent order signed by both parties legal representatives.

In the order it was agreed that the BOSETU members which have Accounting or relevant qualifications and are actually teaching accounting and Business Studies and are entitled to scarce skills allowance as per Directives dated 2nd December 2015 and of 10th August 2015.
The payment of the said allowance was to be paid to the members’ accounts from 1st April 2013.

It is understood that there was also a status hearing on the 7th November 2017 which was specifically set to ensure compliance with the Court order of 16th August 2017 – but the meeting bore no fruits. In his founding affidavit filed before court, BOSETU Secretary General Tobokani Rari also confirmed that “I aver that the DPSM/government remains in breach of the Order notwithstanding lapse of more than 12 months since the order was issued by this Honourable Court, on the 16th August 2017.”

He further pointed out that various meetings ordered by the court have been held between the parties over the past 12 months in a view to implement the order but to no avail. By way of example, the BOSETU SG explained that meetings between the parties was held on April 2018 at DPSM; and August 2018 at Attorney General’s Chambers.

Rari continued: “I aver that at all the meetings the 1st and 2nd Respondents (government) opined that in their own interpretation of the order, they only had to pay scare skill allowance to those teachers who were holding Accounting qualifications and Teaching Accounting. This is despite the fact that the Court Order was very clear that ‘members in the list attached have Accounting or relevant qualifications and are actually teaching accounting and Business Studies and are entitled to scare skills allowance as per the Directives’”.

BOSETU has contended that the government’s contention was in fact a unilateral variation of the Court order which was very clear that “Accounting or relevant qualifications and are actually teaching accounting and Business Studies”. Rari said this was a very surprising development and a dilatory step by the DPSM/government not to comply with clear and ambiguous court which they consented to through their legal representative.

According to Rari, the selective implementation of the Court Order, has resulted in a divided staff room, with teachers teaching the same subjects for years, while others are paid scarce skill allowance, others being denied same because they hold qualifications obtained from institutions other than those preferred by government. He added: “I aver that the teachers teaching Accounting and Business Studies holding other qualifications other than accounting are covered by the Court Order of 16th August 2017 by the wording of “…or related or relevant qualifications”.

Rari emphasised that they are advised and submit that it is clear that the DPSM/government is acting in contempt of the order of Court granted. “I am advised and respectfully submit that this Court should dispense with the forms of and service provided for in the rules and hear the matter as one of the urgency in terms of order 12 Rule of the High Court Rules. The DPSM/government wilfully breached the order of this court granted on the 16th day of August 2017. The Respondent remains in contempt of the Order and has not even responded to the letters addressed to them.”

Rari continued to point out that he is advised and submit that not only specifically with reference to the Respondents, but with reference to ligation in general, the Honourable Court should not be slow to enforce its authority and ensure that its order are complied with.
“I aver that the Applicant’s members will be severally prejudiced by further misconduct of the Respondents if an order is not granted the prejudice to the 1st Respondent will relate only to the need to ensure that he provides such answers as she may have to this application promptly and expeditiously,” he said.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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