Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) president Johannes Tshukudu is suing Director Public Service Management (DPSM) for a lateral cross department transfer that would result in him losing his positions in the union.
Tshukudu and BOFEPUSU treasurer general Moses Monnaatsie have been ‘transferred’ to professions that could terminate their BOFEPUSU membership and leadership.
The two teachers were slapped with letters of transfer the past Friday, moving them to alien government departments to do work not in line with their professions.
Tshukudu was transferred from his work as a lecturer at Tlokweng College of Education to the Ministry of Transport where he will work as Chief Administration Officer while Monnaatsie was also transferred from his work as a teacher to work in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture. The latter is not challenging the decision in court and is reported to have already reported for duty.
Both men also occupy the same positions of president and treasurer general at Botswana Teachers Union (BTU).
The transfers will mean that the two men cease to be members and leaders of BTU and BOFEPUSU as their new professions will now fall outside of the scope of the teachers union where they unionise and lead.
BOFEPUSU this week released a circular that claimed the transfers were all without consultation. The circular also said that BOFEPUSU had it on good authority that the next in line to be transferred is the Federation’s secretary general Tobokani Rari.
In court papers acting Director of DPSM Theophilous Mooko said that Tshukudu has been transferred because teachers training colleges are undergoing a review and rationalization process, while Tshukudu’s attorney Mboki Chilisa argued that the transfer is actually a ploy to set up his client for failure by assigning him work that he was trained to do.
A BOFEPUSU executive member also told this publication that in the letter they wrote to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), they warned BDP that they are aware that its chairman and vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi, along with Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi, are the brains and architects of the plan to neutralise BOFEPUSU.
When reached for comment Tshukudu confirmed that he has indeed been notified of his transfer but was never given the opportunity to show cause why he should not be transferred. He however said that he is still awaiting an account from the Director of Public Service Management (DPSM) on why he was never written a letter of intent to transfer him as is customary.
Monnaatsie could not be reached for comment at press time.
BOFEPUSU deputy secretary general Ketlhalefile Motshegwa also waded into the issue. He accused DPSM of abuse of authority by destroying the two union men’s professional careers as they will not have prospects of progression against bonafide experts at their new work stations.
He said that the move is intended to cause confusion in the leadership ranks of the Federation and that the transfers are matter of factly ‘redeployments’ since they are banishing the two teachers from the classroom, breaking them down by assigning them work they are unfamiliar with.
When contacted for comment Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi labeled the allegation as misleading and said that there is no how he could be fingered as being part of any such plot because he is not Director of DPSM.
He said that he is only responsible for promotions and transfers of Executive Management Cadres (E2 scale) while DPSM is responsible for promotions and transfers of cadres in the D1 scale and below. He also said that the Director of DPSM is the one responsible for lateral cross ministry transfers.
BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane’s cellular phone rang unanswered.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.