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BOFEPPPUSU losing thousands of members

Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sectors Union (BOFEPPPUSU) are continuously losing members due to a stalemate at the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC).

Government parties at the Bargaining Council have declined to submit their counter proposal to the union insisting that the government has already awarded 3% to the public servants. The 3% was awarded unilaterally without the input of the Bargaining Council and consequently was not awarded to BOFEPPPUSU members who are under acting jointly agreement at PSBC.

According to BOFEPPPUSU Deputy Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa in his founding affidavit seen by Weekend Post and before court; in the meantime more than two-thirds of the public service being members of the BOFEPPPUSU, who are in the region of 60 000, are not in receipt of a salary increment for the financial year 2016/2017.

He said notwithstanding that and/or yet the financial year (2016/17) is fast coming to an end.  Motshegwa highlighted in the court papers that BOFEPPPUSU have “lost several thousand members as a result of the time that it is taking to settle the 2016/2017 wage increment, and will continue to do so as long as the increment for the financial year has not been settled.”   

The union federation DSG pointed out that those public officers who have left BOFEPPPUSU have obviously done so “in order to receive the unilateral (3%) increment” that they are not getting at the moment. With inflation, he said the purchasing power of those members who remain part of BOFEPPPUSU is being eroded with every day that passes by.

The salary increment for the financial year 2017/2018 are supposed to be implemented in April 2017, he pointed out while adding that: “this will not happen unless the parties return to the Council and conclude the 2017/2018 wage negotiations.”  According to Motshegwa, the failure to settle the 2016/2017 wage increment has undoubtedly affected the morale of the majority of the public service and this in turn affects efficiency in service delivery to the public.  

“For the foregoing reasons, the matter is self-evidently urgent and redress is not available in due course.  There is not in law compensatory relief for the breach of the duty to bargain in good faith that the Applicants complain of. In the premises an order is sought in terms of the Draft,” the BOFEPPPUSU leader pleaded in his founding affidavit before court.

The matter, he added that it is one of great urgency and great national importance.   “The Court of Appeal recognized the urgency of settling the 2016/2017 wage increment of public officers entertained an appeal concerning the composition of the PSBC on urgency and after hearing the appeal directed that once the PSBC has been reconstituted the 2016/2017 wage negotiations should continue.”    

Despite the directive of the Court of Appeal, and the urgency and importance placed on the finalization of the 2016/2017 wage negotiations he said these are currently not taking place.  The purpose of the application by BOFEPPPUSU they maintain that is to enforce their right to negotiate a wage increment for the financial years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018; resolve an outstanding dispute between the parties as regards the scope of the PSBC; as well as resolve a dispute as to who is eligible to be a representative of Government before the Council.  

Gov’t fails to submit replying affidavits

Meanwhile in the matter, the government lawyers had failed to submit replying affidavits by Friday which was supposed to be the arguments day for the case and instead requested for a postponement that was however duly granted. The presiding Judge who was sitting in for Justice Abednigo Tafa ordered the government lawyers to have replied the union federation by Monday next week.

Speaking to Weekend Post after the case outside court in Lobatse, BOFEPPPUSU attorney, Mboki Chilisa of Collins Chilisa Consultants confirmed that the matter has been postponed. “It is likely that the state attorneys will file their replying affidavits by Monday,” Chilisa pointed out briefly.

Meanwhile BOFEPPPUSU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari also informed to this publication separately on Friday after the case that “be notified that the case that was supposed to take place today at the High Court of Botswana in which BOFEPPUSU seeks an order that the court declares that the industrial court judgement on the 3% court case is in effect and should be applied with respect to the scope of the PSBC pending the final relief case on the same that is before the High Court has been postponed to Friday 25th November 2016.”
He said they still appeal for members’ extended patience as they “fight to defend the broader principle of bargaining in this Republic.”

The union federation believes that government is on hidden agenda to delay the salary negotiations talks at the PSBC with a clear purpose to render the Bargaining Council irrelevant and consequently continue with unilateral increments even in future.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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