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CAAB’s Controversial pay structure put on hold

The Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB), Puseletso G. Moshabesha has been forced to engage employees in connection with the controversial new pay structure which was recently “approved” by the CAAB board. The pay structure has been put on hold until further notice following petitions from staff.

The organizational structure has divided CAAB staff and the Directorate of Air Navigation Services, especially Aeronautical Telecommunications Technicians have taken the legal route giving CAAB seven to stop implementation of the new structure.
Meanwhile it is understood that the Ministry of Transport and Communications has advised that the pay structure be suspended until further notice. Further this publication learns that the executive management team met on Thursday and decided to suspend the implementation of the new organizational structure 2017 until further notice.

The organizational structure was to be implemented on 1st October 2017 as per the letter dated 18th September authored by the CEO, Moshabesha in which he wrote, “Staff is hereby informed that the Board, at its meeting held on 7th September 2017, approved the Revised Organizational structure with effect from 1st October 2017.”

Despite the spirited press release campaign by the CAAB’s Public Relations Manager Modipe Nkwe to the effect that the organizational structure has not been suspended, Weekend Post learns that the implementation of the Organisational Structure is on hold. This publication also took liberty to inquire with Nkwe on the reports that some professionals at the CAAB have engaged an attorney to stop the implementation of the structure and this was his response:

“The Air Navigation Services has no intention of going to court.  However, CAAB has received a letter of Attorneys instructed by Aeronautical Telecommunications Technicians – a section within the Air Navigation Services Department.” Asked if other any other staff members have petitioned management on the subject of the new pay structure, he said, “CAAB has received a letter from attorneys representing Aeronautical Telecommunications Technicians. But the letter is not a petition but a letter expressing dissatisfaction on the outcome of the Pay structure.” Weekend Post has engaged a couple of staff members of CAAB who confirmed that they have expressed dissatisfaction with the new pay structure by way of writing.

Nkwe further said the CAAB is still to address the matter internally and therefore no outside attorneys have been appointed to represent the Authority. The proposed new pay structure at the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) has divided staff, with those on the technical side but lower bands accusing those on the Human Resources and Administration bands of coming up with a self-serving structure albeit undermining the “core” cadres of aviation.

The positions grading levels for approved structure – April 2014 compared with the revised structure of October 2017 were shared with staff this week and caused a lot of consternation especially in the middle and lower bands.In an effort to deal with disgruntled staff the CEO had on the 6th of October 2017 wrote an internal memorandum to staff to this effect: “In preparation for the implementation of the approved organizational structure, Management is currently engaging in consultation with relevant stakeholders which will include yourselves/staff. Therefore, the schedule for consultation will be communicated to you in due course.”

It is understood that the consultation process could be halted because it has been resolved that the consultant Deloitte will have to work on the structure again. Meanwhile the CEO, Moshabesha was expected to go on leave from Thursday until next week Monday but the Ministry did not approve it, and asked him to deal with the divisive issue of a new pay structure at CAAB. Moshabesha has to deal with unhappy Air Traffic Controllers, Aviation Security Officers, Aviation Firemen, and Air craft maintenance officers among others. These cadres have been notched at lower bands of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in the CAAB pay structure but they are convinced that they should have been capped at a better scale.

The aggrieved staff point to the Corporate Services directorate which houses human resources and administration personnel as self-serving. According to the new pay structure a number of positions have been moved from band 5 to band 4; and others in their majority have been moved from band 6 to band 4. There is only one person or position pegged at the middle band of 8, an Administrative Assistant, the rest are between 2 and 6 bands.

The Chief Executive Officer remains at the top of the chart on band 1 followed by Heads, Aviation Security and Facilitation Oversight, and Head, Air Transport; Director, Aviation Safety Oversight; Director, Air Navigation Services, Director Airport Services; Director, Corporate Services; and Director, Airport Engineering and Maintenance, who are all on band 2. Corporate Secretary and General Counsel has been downgraded from band 2 to band 3.  The biggest jump in the new grading level is observed at the Public Relations and Communication department where the Public Relations and Communications Officer has been upgraded from band 8 to band 5. Head of Public Relations and Communications has been also upgraded from band 4 to band 3.

At Directorate level the staff there ranks the lowest among all the departments with the highest band being 5, held by a Public Affairs Officer and the lowest being 13 held by a Cleaner. A Systems Analyst has been pegged at band 7 in the Directorate. Under Airport Engineering and Maintenance, a most Engineers have been upgraded from band 6 to band 5 while technicians have been upgraded from band 8 to band 7.

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Seretse, Kgosi may walk free

30th October 2020
BAKANG SERETSE

The P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) saga that has been before court since 2017 seems to be losing its momentum with a high possibility of it being thrown out as defence lawyers unmask incompetency on the part of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The Gaborone High Court this week ruled that the decision by the State to prosecute Justice Zein Kebonang and his twin brother, Sadique Kebonang has been reviewed and set aside. The two brothers have now been cleared of the charges that where laid against them three years ago.

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Understanding the US Electoral College and key election issues 

28th October 2020
Mark J Rozell

The United States (US) will on the 3rd of November 2020 chose between incumbent Donald Trump of the Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemics, which has affected how voting is conducted in the world’s biggest economy.

Trump (74) seeks re-election after trouncing Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Biden (77) is going for his first shot as Democratic nominee after previous unsuccessful spells.

US Presidents mostly succeed in their re-election bid, but there have been nine individuals who failed to garner a second term mandate, the latest being George W H. Bush, a Republican who served as the 41st US President between 1989 and 1993.

Dr Mark Rozell, a Dean of  the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University  in  Arlington, Virginia describes the complex US electoral system that will deliver the winner at the 3rd November elections.

“The founders of our Republic de-centralised  authority  significantly  in  creating  our  constitutional  system,  which  means that  they  gave  an  enormous  amount  of  independent  power  and  authority  to  State  and  local governments,” Dr Rozell told international media on Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour.

Unlike  parliamentary  democracies, like Botswana the  United  States  does  not  have  all  of  the  national government elected in one year. They do not have what is commonly called mandate elections where  the  entire  federal  government  is  elected  all  in  one  election  cycle  giving  a  “mandate”  to  a particular political party to lead, and instead US have what are called staggered elections, elections over time.

The two house Congress, members of the House of Representatives have two-year long terms of office. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, but senators  serve  for  six  years  and  one  third  of  the  Senate is elected every  two  years.

For this election cycle, US citizens will be electing the President and Vice

President, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the open or contested seats in the Senate, whereas two thirds are still fulfilling the remainder of their terms beyond this year.

An  important  facet  of  US electoral  system  to  understand  given  the  federalism  nature  of  the republic, the US elect presidents State by State, therefore they do not have a national popular vote for the presidency.

“We have a national popular vote total that says that Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump or in Year 2000 that Al Gore got a half million more votes than George W. Bush, but we have what is called a State by State winner takes all system where each State  is  assigned  a  number  of  electors  to  our  Electoral  College  and  the  candidate  who  wins  the popular vote within each State takes 100 percent of the electors to the Electoral College,” explained Dr Rozell.

“And that is why mathematically, it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.”

Dr Rozell indicated that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won very large popular majorities in some big population States like California, but the system allows a candidate to only have to  win  a  State  by  one  vote  to  win  a  100 percent of  its  electors,  the  margin  does  not  matter.

“Donald  Trump  won  many  more  States  by  smaller  margins,  hence  he  got  an  Electoral  College majority.”

Another interesting features by the way of US constitutional system, according to Dr Rozell, but extremely rare, is what is called the faithless elector.

“That’s the elector to the Electoral College who says, ‘I’m not going to vote the popular vote in my State, I think my State made a bad decision and I’m going  to  break  with  the  popular  vote,’’ Dr Rozell said.

“That’s constitutionally a very complicated matter in our federalism system because although the federal constitution says electors may exercise discretion, most States have passed State laws making it illegal for any elector to the Electoral College to break faith with the popular vote of that State, it is a criminal act that can be penalized if one is to do that. And we just had an important Supreme Court case that upheld the right of the states to impose and to enforce this restriction”

There are 538 electors at the Electoral College, 270 is the magic number, the candidate who gets 270 or more becomes President of the United States.

If however there are more candidates, and  this  happens  extremely  rarely,  and  a  third  candidate  got  some electors  to  the  Electoral  College  denying  the  two  major  party  candidates,  either  one  getting  a majority, nobody gets 270 or more, then the election goes to the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives votes among the top three vote getters as to who should be the next President.

“You’d have to go back to the early 19th century to have such a scenario, and that’s not going to happen this year unless there is a statistical oddity, which would be a perfect statistical tie of 269 to 269 which could happen but you can just imagine how incredibly unlikely that is,” stated Dr Rozell.

BLUE STATES vs RED STATES

Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.

Many  states  have  populations  that  are  so  heavily  concentrated  in  the  Democratic party or the Republican party that there is really no competition in those states.

California is a heavily Democratic State, so is New York and Maryland. It is given that Joe Biden will win those states. Meanwhile Texas, Florida and Alabama are republicans. So, the candidates will spent no time campaigning in those states because it is already a given.

However there are swing  states, where  there is a competition between about five and 10 states total in each election cycle that make a difference, and that is where the candidates end up spending almost all of their time.

“So  it  ends  up  making  a  national  contest  for  the  presidency  actually  look  like  several  state-wide contests with candidates spending a lot of time talking about State and local issues in those parts of the country,” said Dr Rozell.

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Masisi to make things right with Dangote

26th October 2020

High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.

Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana.  “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.

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