The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) intends to file an urgent application with the aim to nullify the Labour Advisory Board meeting which was held last week Thursday between the government and another public service union, the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU).
BOFEPUSU contends that whatever was agreed upon at the meeting regarding the proposed amendment of the Trade Dispute Act cannot pass as consultation of the work force as long as BOFEPUSU which has a majority of public service membership was locked out.
On Thursday this week, the Federation, through its attorney, Onalethata Kambai of Kambai Attorneys served the statutory notice of their intended suit to both the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and BFTU.
“We wrote to the Minister and requested that the meeting be postponed. We told the Minister that we were yet to meet and agree with BFTU on how we would share the slots at the meeting, but the meeting went on anyway without our representation, yet the topic under discussion has direct implications to our members,” explained BOFEPUSU’s Secretary General Tobokani Rari in an interview this week.
BFTU and the government met to discuss the proposed Labour dispute Act amendment which aims at adding more cadres to the essential service bracket. Teachers who mostly fall under BOFEPUSU unions would be directly affected by the amendment which would see them being forced to take up extra duties as compulsory work and to some extend barred from engaging in “no work” kind of strikes.
BOFEPUSU insists that it was supposed to be part of last week’s meeting since the recommendations made from such a meeting are likely to be made part of the arguments tabled before Parliament by the Minister in the coming session of Parliament and that the bill is then likely to continue without their input.
BOFEPUSU failed to attend the meeting after BFTU refused to meet its members. BOFEPUSU wanted the two parties to agree on how they would divide between them the three seats reserved for the union at the Board.
“I wish to acknowledge you letter dated 16 November 2015. We have written a letter to the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs seeking clarification on the matter. Until then we cannot meet. I thank you. Yours in Struggle, Gadzani Mhotsha (Mr), Secretary General,” BFTU responded to BOFEPUSU’s letter.
BOFEPUSU’s account of the story is that on the 18th August, 2015, the Ministry granted it the rights to represent its members in social dialogue structures such as the Labour Advisory Board, the Bargaining Council and others.
On the 16th October, 2015, BOFEPUSU wrote a letter to BFTU requesting for an urgent meeting to discuss the issue of representation in social Dialogue structures. However on the 18 November they received a response from BFTU indicating that they cannot meet BOFEPUSU on account that they have written to the Ministry seeking clarification on the matter. BOFEPUSU then tried to stop the meeting and wrote a letter to the Minister in the same Ministry, Edwin Batshu and requested him to intervene and possibly stop the meeting. The meeting went ahead anyway hence BOFEPUSU is seeking the intervention of an independent body, the Judiciary.
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.
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.
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.