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BX drivers claim P7 Million from Govt

Justice Motswagole

Fifty-five (55) industrial class employees have dragged the Ministry of Transport and Communications before the Gaborone High court demanding close to P7 Million of unpaid subsistence and overtime allowances.

The 55 are said to be working as drivers of the Ministry’s transport fleet. They claim not to have been paid the allowances for the past 21 years. On the contrary, the Ministry which is represented by Attorney General maintain that the employees have been paid their dues.

The matter is yet to be argued before court, but was on roll call before Justice Motswagole, Friday morning. The background of the conflict is that, sometime in June 1995, a Public Service Management Directive number 15 of 1995 was issued by the Ministry’s Roads Department whose content was that all industrial class employees who spend weekends away from their duty station are entitled to their full wages plus whatever applicable overtime. In addition to this, they are also entitled to subsistence allowance. Such entitlement effected from 20th June, 1995 when the said directorate came to effect.

Further, In November the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) issued a notice to clarify the directorate and of relevance was the paragraphs that stated, “that if the industrial class employee is called upon to perform any official duties during such Saturday or Sunday, he/she will be paid the normal rate multiplied by two for any hours he/she was on duty” and “that subsistence allowance is paid at the prevailing rate per night for this duration of the official trip.”

However despite the directorate the employees claim that the employer failed, refused or neglected to make any payments to them in respect of their claims.

In court papers before court, they further maintain that they have pursued the matter and made numerous representations to the Ministry since the issuance of the directive and have tried to no avail to seek any internal remedies.

“However up to date the plaintiff, continue to be deployed on trips during weekends and public holidays despite the fact that they are not being paid for the same. Rather the plaintiff are only offered and paid commuted subsistence allowance each time they work during such weekends and public holidays,” their case file reads in part.

To circumvent its obligation to pay, the Ministry is said to have devised a stratagem that is not only an unfair labour practice but is also wrongful in that the “Defendant now keeps conveniently transferring the industrial class workers, including the plaintiffs from one category to other categories as and when such employees have to work on weekends or during public holidays.”

At the time of filing the case, the total outstanding arrears due to the complainants, according to the claim documents, stood at stood at P6 685 067-26. The amount was calculated from 1995 since the directive came to effect. Over that the employees demand payment of the same amount with an interest of 10% per annum from date of accrual up to day of payment.

The workers are represented by Othusitse Mbeha of Duma Boko Attorneys while the Ministry is represented by Trenorrah Begane of Attorney General’s Chambers. The matter is returnable before court in December.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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