The Ministry of Health is allegedly planning to reinstate all the employees it dismissed in 2012 following the historic public service strike which took place the previous year.
Information reaching WeekendPost suggests that the move which was taken during a recent cabinet meeting is an effort by the government to reconcile with the disgruntled civil service and address the long outstanding issue of shortage of health workers in the country.
“Letters are being disbursed and those who are still interested in rejoining the civil service would be re-employed,” stated an inside source.
The Ministry’s Public Relations office has not denied the allegation and has not confirmed it either.
However the alleged decision is viewed as a welcome move by the umbrella for the Public service unions, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU).
“Thupa e tshwere mooka (they got a wakeup call). It was insensitive of the government in the first place to dismiss people from work,” BOFEPUSU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari noted.
During the second week of May 2011 a total of 2 934 public service employees employed by the Ministry of Health were dismissed for failing to comply with an industrial court order which declared that their engagement in the strike was unlawful. The order interdicted them from further continuing in the strike which was taking place throughout the country.
BOFEPUSU took the matter to court and Justice key Dingake ruled in favour of the dismissed workers. He literally reinstated the workers and advised them to report for duty within 21 days of his ruling. However the government appealed the matter and succeeded in getting the President of the Court of Appeal, Ian Kirby to set aside Dingake’s ruling.
According to Kirby, the government was fair in dismissing the said employees because they violated their conditions of service.
However the current development is viewed as a smart move by the government towards reconciliation with the civil service ahead of the next general elections.
“The government is feeling the pressure. The fact that the civil service is standing up to say that this is not the government we can run with has probably made it to start considering the needs of the workers,” Rari expressed before adding that, even a blind person can see that “there is a lot of dissatisfaction demonstrated by the workers. One such demonstration is through the ballot.”
The ruling Democratic Party has consistently been losing by-elections since the last general elections which were held last year to mainly the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Currently members of the UDC include three political parties, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). However of late, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has been making suggestions that they might join the three parties ahead of the 2019 general elections with the aim to oust the BDP from its five decade rule. By 2015, the BDP would have ruled the country for an uninterrupted 53 years.
The government is the biggest employer in the country and the government trade unions especially their umbrella union, BOFEPUSU, has always rallied behind UDC since its inception shortly after the 2011 civil service strike. They have always made it known that their aim is to change the current regime and help UDC win. Nonetheless the BDP remains the strongest party which enjoyed popular vote in last general elections.
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.