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Government loses court case against senior teacher

Government will foot the legal bill of a Madiba Senior School teacher, after having lost a case against her last Friday. Government had subjected the teacher to suffering and embarrassment by halting her salary and ceasing her payments of medical aid and pension contributions for well over four months.

By halting the salary of the teacher Ellen Morula under questionable circumstances, court ruled last Friday that the government had acted in violation of both the Public Service Act as well as the Employment Act. Morula, who is employed at Madiba Senior Secondary School in Mahalapye, had her salary halted for more than 4 months (and counting) including benefits such as medical and pension contributions.

Up to now, Morula continues to discharge her functions as a teacher as she continues to be allocated classes at Madiba by the school management albeit without pay. When presenting the ‘draft consent order’ which is not entirely in favour of government on Friday at the High Court, Justice Michael Leburu stated that government should pay all dues to the teacher in question, including the legal cost of the applicant.

Justice Leburu stressed in the order that: “the respondent (government) is ordered to pay all arrears salaries, benefits, including pension contributions and medical aid subscriptions, immediately, and forthwith.” In addition, the Gaborone High Court Judge also ordered intensely that “the respondent (government) pay 10 per cent per annum on the outstanding salaries and benefits from the date they fell due to the date of payment.” Justice Leburu did not spare government also in the conclusion of his judgement further ordering the respondent (government) at the end to also pay the costs of the application before the Judgeship (that he presided over).

Court papers seen by WeekendPost indicate that Morula was unceremoniously put under what the Ministry of Education officials termed “suspended assignment” from “active assignment”. The ministry had seen the teacher to be acting in insubordination after she failed to resume duty following voluntary transfer.   

According to the senior teacher, she could not continue with the transfer she voluntarily opted for given her health condition; and went further to state that travelling 80km every day was going to be detrimental to her health. But later on, to her dismay, she said in court papers that she was shocked that her salary, medical aid contributions, and pensions were stopped by the Directorate for Public Service Management (DPSM).

She narrated that this happened after she has conceded to move to Swaneng Senior Secondary School with the advice of the Ministry of Education officials, with the condition that she would later move to Shashe River Senior Secondary School in Tonota, where, owing to her ill health, will be closer to the cardiology clinic in Francistown.

When she got to Shashe however, she said in court papers, she was told by the school head that they did not need a Biology teacher and was ordered to go back to Madiba which she did. Morula continued to point out that surprisingly, and after a long passage of time, on the 24th May 2017, she received a letter written by the Director alleging that she had refused to go on transfer and that she should show cause why a disciplinary action should not be taken against her.

The senior teacher said she was then advised by her attorney, Uyapo Ndadi of Ndadi Law Firm, that the employer in terms of the Public Service Act could only stop payment as a punishment following a disciplinary hearing as per section 40 of the Public Service Act.
She further stressed that no disciplinary hearing had ever taken place against her prior to the termination of payment of her salary and benefits.

“I am further advised the DPSM has a legal duty to pay me monthly salaries and failure to do so is in violation of the employment Act. My attorneys will deal with this point in argument,” she had submitted in her initial papers. As a result, her attorney Ndadi had also stated in court papers that the client was gravely suffering financial prejudice and embarrassment, and any further delay would invariably worsen her situation.

Ndadi said that they were monitoring whether the government will respect the court order and pay the said teacher who is likely to smile all the way to the bank as the festive season slowly creeps in. While Morula was represented by Ndadi and Ramou Jallow both from Ndadi Law Firm M. Taunyane stood in for the government through the Attorney General Chambers.

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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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