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BEC, BOPEU clash over staff salaries

BEC- Prof Brain Mokopakgosi

Botswana Examination Council (BEC) has requested that the High Court dismiss a case brought before it by Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) regarding staff salary disparities following the 2013 resolution.

In a responding affidavit, BEC through its lawyers, Moeletsi Attorneys, contend that there was no need for BOPEU to have brought the matter before the court because the process to address complaints resulting from the exercise of addressing salary disparities is ongoing.

BOPEU had taken BEC to seek full compliance with the governing council structure of BEC resolution of June 19, 2013 which recommended that the council deal away with salary disparities among its staff.

“I am advised and verily believe the same is true that this application is improper and incompetent in that the Applicant ask the court to direct the council, as an employer, on how it should manage its affairs,” reads the affidavit in part.

BEC has stated that from the beginning the decision to institute a pay roll analysis to gauge the state of rewards management and the extent at which the organisation was in compliance with best practices was its own initiative.

“It was the council on its own that resolved to embark on an exercise that would remove salary disparities in its pay structure. The applicant did not go to court to compel it to make the resolution,” it says.  

BEC added that the analysis uncovered a number of inconsistencies which were indicative of the existence of unfair practices in rewards management at the council.

“In order to reduce unjustifiable pay disparities uncovered by the 2013 pay roll analysis, the council decided to embark on an exercise that would reduce these disparities, improve pay progression, and promote equity and fairness, and ultimately improve staff retention.”

BEC noted  that one of aims of management recommendations on salary disparities was to; deal away with a situation where subordinates earned more that supervisors, and that the exercise does not result in further unjustifiable salary disparities.

The Examinations Council admits that it failed to carry out its plans due to acute budgetary constraints which ensured the second phase was supposed to be implemented in April 2014.

“After consultation with staff representatives a decision was taken to postpone the implementation of this exercise. Unfortunately in 2015, the council’s budget allocation was inadequate to fund its normal operations the result of which was further postponement of the exercise,” the council stated.

BEC remarked that at the beginning of this financial year, despite low budget, they went ahead with the implementation of the exercise, a result of which a number of employees were affected.

The affidavit also states that BOPEU had wanted to halt the process, and further wanted to be involved through vetting the process, the demands it both rejected.

“The council was of the view that, what was being requested was an encroachment into the duties and responsibilities of the council as an employer,” they stated.

“In the council’s view, vetting an exercise such as this one will entail the release of individual employee payroll information to third parties without their consent.”

BEC said it had already put in place the process of considering appeals from employees arising from the implementation of the exercise. BEC contend that BOPEU brought the matter to court prematurely since the implementation was still being finalised.

“Although an undertaking was made to implement the exercise effective 1st April, it was absolutely necessary to allow the appeals process that would allow those who would not be satisfied with the process to submit their appeals,” BEC said.

Motsamai wrote in the founding affidavit that BEC has failed to honour the recommendation of the Human Resource Committee (HRC) despite having given the employees letters informing them about the development.

“In 2013 all concerned staff were then given half of the increase they were entitled to with the reason that the other half was to be effected the following year, while those entitled to an increase of three percent as per the resolution have to date not received their increment,” states Motsamai’s affidavit.

BEC told the court that, it is in agreement with BOPEU and the only difference is that it wanted more time to deal with the issue of implementation of the salary adjustment.

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Woman swindled out of P62 000 by fake CID officers

17th June 2021
Motube

Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.

According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.

“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.

The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.

Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.

“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’

They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.

In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.

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BCP walks out of UDC meeting

15th June 2021
Boko and Saleshando

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.

UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.

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Katlholo wins against DPP

15th June 2021
DCEC DIRECTOR: Tymon Katlholo

The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.

The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.

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