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UB staff demands 7% salary increment

The University of Botswana employees, including lectures and Senior Support Staff, are calling for an increase in their salaries with immediate effect.

As part of the increment they want salary adjustment that was given to government employees as a result of a directive increasing their salaries including back pays since then. In an array of demands in the petition, presented to University of Botswana Council (management) Chair Parks Tafa, the UB staff state that they want the money while stressing the urgency by threatening with legal action in the event it’s not fulfilled.

The petition, signed by University of Botswana Academic and Senior Support Staff Union (UBASSSO) chair Kaelo Molefhe, University of Botswana Staff Union (UBSU) President Gadzani Mhotsha and Simon Kgaoganang representing Manual Workers states that: “government directives No. 4 of 2016 and No. 4 of 2017 should be ratified with immediate effect to pay University of Botswana employees the cumulative 7% salary inflationary adjustment.”

The trio on behalf of UB staff also point out that management has not been cooperative on collective labour agreements. To illustrate this, they highlighted that “in 2016, the Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), issued a Circular Savingram dated 30th May 2016, reinstating Directive No. 4 of 2016 on inflationary adjustment of salaries to certain Public Officer cadres, which had been suspended on 29th April, 2016. The said directive offered a 3% salary adjustment and related allowances increase across the board.” They continued: “DPSM further issued Directive No.4 of 2017 which also offered Public Officers of certain cadres a 4% inflationary adjustment of salaries and allowances across the board.”

 As it is the norm, the UB employees indicated that a discussion on salary inflationary adjustment to ratify the directives ensued between UBASSSU – UBSU pact and Management. They said they reached a common position with Management at the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) meeting of 22nd August 2017 on the issue of 7% inflationary adjustment to UB salaries – that given the fact that such funds were not available (obviously as a result of lack of budgeting on the part of Management) that the matter be taken to the Human Resources Committee of Council (HRC) to seek advice and resolution, before the matter could be subsequently tabled before Council for approval or lack thereof.

“The expectation was that Council following its 8th September 2017 meeting will use its power to contact relevant authorities with a view to source funding for the 7% inflationary adjustment to the UB salaries,” they insisted. They also pointed out that they were shocked to learn that the matter reached the 208th Council meeting just for noting (purporting that there was a deadlock between them and Management). “We consider the act of Management as lacking on the principle of good faith and fraudulent at its best. It was inaccurate and misleading for Management to inform Council that there was a deadlock between the Unions and Management.”

According to the petition, the representation of a false position to Council by Management purporting a deadlock with Unions over the desire for a 7% salary inflationary adjustment and the submission of the Draft Staff Grievances Policy and Procedures (SGPP) that has not been finalised/agreed upon by the negotiating parties for approval is a clear breach of clauses 10.3.1 and 10.4 of the 5 recognition agreements that the University has with the two unions. These clauses it is said provide that; “3.1.1 Matters that are mutually agreed upon at meetings of the NC shall be binding on both parties.” Therefore they say that Management defaulted on the agreed position on both the 7% salary inflationary adjustment and the SGPP.

Another clause state “3.1.2 any matter agreed upon by the NC shall be in writing and signed by both parties.”  The parties in this instance have not signed any deadlock on the 7% salary inflationary adjustment or any agreement on the finalization of the SGPP, the UB maintained.
The UB staff members assert that the deliberate action by Management not to implement the decision of the 176th meeting of Council held on 12th November, 2010 which affirmed the alignment of the University of Botswana salaries with that of Government is ultra vires. “Such a decision by Management to decline action on the government directives on 3% &and4% salary inflationary adjustment is a departure from established practice and is tantamount to unlawfully varying a Council decision, thus thwarting the University of Botswana employees’ legitimate expectations.”

This Council decision, the employees say is consistent with paragraph 53 of ‘The Revised National Policy on Incomes, Employment, Prices and Profits of 2005’ that was passed by the National Assembly on 5th April, 2007 which provides that noncommercial parastatals’ chief executives’ remuneration is automatically linked to that of Government permanent secretaries. As a parting shot, the UB staff warned that “take note that you have seven (7) working days to comply with the demands..and take note also that we reserve the right to seek redress and justice elsewhere as we deem fit.”

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DPP drops Kably threat to kill case

22nd March 2023

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/Lephephe Liakat Kably has welcomed the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s decision not to prosecute BDP councillor, Meshack Tshenyego who allegedly threatened to kill him. However, the legislator has warned that should anything happen to his life, the state and the courts will have to account.

In an interview with this publication, Kablay said he has heard that the DPP has declined to prosecute Tshenyego in a case in which he threatened to kill him adding that the reasons he received are that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. “I am fine and at peace with the decision not to prosecute over evidential deficits but I must warn that should anything happen to my life both the DPP and the Magistrate will have to account,” Kablay said.

Connectedly, Kably said he has made peace with Tshenyego, “we have made peace and he even called me where upon we agreed to work for the party and bury the hatchet”.

The DPP reportedly entered into a Nolle Prosequi in the matter, meaning that no action would be taken against the former Letlhakeng Sub-district council chairperson and currently councillor for Matshwabisi.

According to the charge sheet before the Court, councilor Tshenyego on July 8th, 2022 allegedly threatened MP Kably by indirectly uttering the following words to nominatedcouncilor Anderson Molebogi Mathibe, “Mosadi wa ga Liakat le ban aba gagwe ba tsile go lela, Mosadi wame le banake le bone ba tsile go lela. E tla re re mo meeting, ka re tsena meeting mmogo, ke tla mo tlolela a bo ke mmolaya.”

Loosely translated this means, Liakat’s wife and children are going to shed tears and my wife and kids will shed tears too. I will jump on him and kill him during a meeting.

Mathibe is said to have recorded the meeting and forwarded it to Kably who reported the matter to the police.

In a notice to the Magistrate Court to have the case against Tshenyego, acting director of Public Prosecutions, Wesson Manchwe  cited the nolle prosequi by the director of public prosecution in terms of section 51 A (30) of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana as reasons for dropping the charges.

A nolle prosequi is a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.

“In pursuance of my powers under section 51 A (300 of the Constitution and section 10 of the criminal procedure and evidence act (CAP 08:02) laws of Botswana, I do hereby stop and discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused Meshack Tshenyego in the Kweneng Administrative District, CR.No.1077/07/2022 being the case of the State vs Tshenyego,” said Manchwe. The acting director had drafted the notice dropping the charges on 13th day of March 2023.

The case then resumed before the Molepolole Magistrate Solomon Setshedi on the 14th of March 2023. The Magistrate issued an order directing “that matters be withdrawn with prejudice to the State, accused is acquitted and discharged.”

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DPP seizes prosecution duties from Police

22nd March 2023

Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has finally taken over prosecution from the Botswana Police Service (BPS). The police have been prosecuting for years, but the takeover means that they will now only focus on investigations and then hand over to the DPP for prosecution.

Talks of complete takeover began as far back as 2008, but for years it seemed implementation was sluggish. However, the Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni, revealed that the complete takeover is expected to be completed soon.

During a presentation to the Committee of Supply by Shamukuni this week, it was revealed that the project has been implemented in 22 police stations nationwide, including Maun, Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Francistown, and Kasane. He further stated that the project has been allocated P3,000,000 for the 2023/2024 financial year to facilitate the opening of more satellite offices for the DPP.

Shamukuni said the Lobatse station is scheduled for a complete takeover by the end of May 2023, while the Kasane DPP satellite office has been established and became operational as of February 1, 2023.

“As reported previously, preparations are at an advanced stage to open a satellite office in Tsabong to curtail expenses, as well as frequent long-distance trips to these areas, as it is currently serviced by the Lobatse DPP office,” Shamukuni said.

Shamukuni said that the takeover strategy is to enable a seamless and gradual takeover of prosecution from the BPS without overwhelming and overstretching the thin resources at its disposal.

According to Shamukuni, the implementation of the prosecution takeover project has increased the workload of the 211 prosecutors in the DPP establishment.

Furthermore, the Justice Minister said DPP statistics show that the DPP has a total of 11,903 cases and dockets as of January 2023. He indicated that this is a significant increase in the number of cases being handled by the DPP, considering that in November 2021, the DPP had just over 8,471 files.

“Out of the total case load, 8 382 are cases pending before various courts while 3521 are dockets received from law enforcement agencies of which 1 325 are awaiting service of summons while the rest are being assessed for suitability of prosecution or otherwise” said Shamukuni.

He further stated that The DPP has consistently maintained an 80% success rate in matters completed at court.

“As at the end of January 2023, the success rate stood at 82.3% against a target of 90% whilst the average performance in respect of turnaround time for conclusion of cases at court stood at 17.5 months against a target of 18 months,” he said.


Meanwhile, Minister Shamukuni has revealed that Gaborone land Tribunal is experiencing a backlog of cases. Before parliament this week, Shamukuni revealed that a total 230 appeals were completed for the period of April 2022- December 2022 and only 76.5% of them were completed within set time frame.

The minister said that the Gaborone division has experiencing a backlog of cases due to manpower constraints and he further indicated that presiding officers from other divisions have been brought in to expedite case disposal.

He further indicated that the land tribunal is a specialized court that has been empowered to resolve appeals arising from land boards. “It has been mandated to determine appeals from the decisions of Physical planning committees of Districts Councils” said Shamukuni.

Land Tribunal relocated to the Ministry of Justice from Ministry of Land and Water Affairs in November 2022.

“An amount of P37, 842,670 is requested to cover salaries, allowance and other operational expenses for the Department of the land Tribunal,” alluded Shamukuni

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BCP, AP stalemate in 7 constituencies

21st March 2023

When the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Alliance for Progressives, Botswana Labour Party (BLP), and conveners reconvene next week, the controversial issue of allocation of the seven constituencies will be the main topic of discussion, WeekendPost can reveal.

Not only that, but the additional four constituencies will also dominate the talks. The idea is to finally close the “constituency allocation phase,” which has proven to be the most difficult part of the ongoing negotiations.

Earlier this year, the two parties announced that the marathon talks would be concluded by February. Even at a media briefing last month, BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile and Publicity Secretary Dr. Mpho Pheko were optimistic that the negotiations would be concluded before the end of February.

However, it is now mid-March and the talks have yet to be concluded. What could be the reasons for the delay? This is a question that both Kekgonegile and Pheko have not responded to, as they have ignored the reporters’ inquiries. However, a senior figure within the party has confided to this publication as to what is delaying the highly anticipated negotiations.

“We are reconvening next week to finalize constituency allocations, taking into account the additional four new ones plus the outstanding seven,” he explained. It later surfaced that Gaborone Central, Gaborone North, Mogoditshane, Tswapong North, Francistown West, Tati West, and Nata Gweta are all contested by both BCP and AP. This is because the other 50 constituencies were allocated by December of last year.

The three parties have failed to find common ground for the Bosele Ward by-elections. Are these constituencies not a deal breaker for the talks? “None of the constituencies is a deal breaker,” responded a very calm BCP official.

In Bosele Ward, AP has yielded to BCP, despite most of its members disapproving the decision. On the other hand, BLP has refused, and it will face off with BCP together with Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The decision by BLP to face off with BCP has been labelled as a false start for the talks by political observers.

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