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DPSM asked to smoke peace pipe with unions

Tati East Member of Parliament Guma Moyo has told Director of Directorate on Public Service Management (DPSM) Ruth Maphorisa to ignite a process of reconciling government with unions representing public service employees.

Moyo, who is a member of Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said for the purpose of achieving progress and quality service delivery in the public service, the perennial impasse between the two parties should be put to bed.

Moyo told Maphorisa that the ongoing battles, the latest being a court battle between Botswana Federation of Public Employees Union (BOFEPUSU) and Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) over the bargaining council, should be acted on because they are costing government dearly.

The Tati East legislator reckons that the bargaining council, which comprises of unions representing public service employees and government is the root of the problem. Moyo said, government, as an interested party should act in a decisive manner to ensure that the perennial stand-off is resolved.

“There is a need to urgently act on this matter because it is affecting service delivery in the public service,” he said.

While the ongoing case is largely a war between BOPEU and BOFEPUSU, Moyo is of the view that the bargaining council issue be resolved, and government should play anchor role.

Maphorisa told the PAC that she is expecting the Court of Appeal to make a judgement on the matter soon. This comes after BOPEU and BOFEPUSU failed to agree to negotiation over who should or should not seat at the bargaining council. This impasse is a result of BOPEU deciding to de-affiliate from BOFEPUSU amid clash of egos between BOFEPUSU Labour Secretary Jonhson Motshwarakgole and BOPEU President Andrew Motsamai.

Members of the PAC committee Biggie Butale has urged DPSM as an employer to act towards review of the Bargaining Council and construct it in a manner that will create less problems for the parties taking part in the council.

After the court judgement, Maphorisa said, they will relook into the structure of the bargaining council and its constitution with the view of effecting progressive changes in the council.

The Bargaining council came into being in 2010, following the decision to allow public service employees to unionise.

Maphorisa took over at DPSM at the beginning of 2015 following the appointment of Carter Morupisi as Permanent Secretary to the President, inheriting a legacy left by her predecessor-an unsavoury relationship between unions and government.

Briefing the media last year after her appointment, Maphorisa said she was keen on restoring peace between government and trade unions. Maphorisa also told journalists that she had efforts aimed at facilitating the efficiency of the Bargaining Council so that it fully discharges its mandate.

Despite assurances made by Maphorisa to transform the DPSM, relations between government and trade unions have barely improved. As the two unions were warring in court, government moved to increase public service employees’ salaries by 3 percent.

The High Court however, after BOFEPUSU challenged the decision ruled that the increment, which was done outside the bargaining council, was illegal, and was therefore declared null and void by Industrial Court Judge Harold Ruhukya.

In a move which was interpreted as war against unions, Maphorisa transferred Johannes Tshukudu, the President of BOFEPUSU from Tlokweng College of Education to Ministry of Transport and Communications.

BOFEPUSU dragged government to court again to challenge the decision and won. Industrial Court Judge Ruhukya said that Tshukudu’s transfer from his post as Senior Lecturer to Chief Administration was illegal because the affected did not have a requisite training and experience in administration which could lead to him losing his job as a result of inefficiency.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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