The government has bowed to Botswana Public Sector Union (BOPEU) pressure and reneged on its earlier decision not to comply with the Francistown Industrial Court judgment delivered in the union’s favor last October.
On behalf of its members who are lectures at the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE), BOPEU instituted legal proceedings against the government for not upgrading the lectures.
Through their lawyer David Olatotse, BOPEU argued that following the upgrading of FCTVE from a certificate to a diploma offering institution, its members who were posted to the college as lectures ought to have been remunerated at the salary scale for lectures at a diploma offering body.
BOPEU’s claim was based on the Public Service Management Directive Number 21 of 1993 on the Scheme of Service for second and third level education in the lecturing cadre.
In terms of the statement of the case, the reliefs sought by the union are for the upgrading to the posts of lecturers at a diploma offering institution and to be paid back-pays being the difference between the said salary scale from the dates of their assumption of duties at FCTVE.
Respondents, cited as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development Richard Matlhare and Attorney General Attaliah Molokomme, responded that the applicants could not be assimilated to higher scales at the time of hiring as there were no vacancies.
But in his judgment delivered on October 20 2014, Francistown Industrial Court Judge Justice Christian Diwanga concurred with the applicants. Although the doctrine included expectations which went beyond enforceable legal rights, Diwanga said the expectation had to be legitimate.
Diwanga added that fulfillment of the expectation had to be within the powers of the person or body creating the expectation. As the ministry responsible for government institutions providing among others second and third level of education and training, he said the department is responsible to ensure that lecturers at these institutions are properly graded and remunerated.
In his determination, Diwanga said “The applicants are entitled to back-pays from the date of assumption of duty at FCTVE.” However, the respondent decided to ignore the determination made by the court.
This development resulted in BOPEU’s lawyers threatening to file an application of contempt of court against Matlhare and Molokomme. And the contempt of court application was expected to be argued in court yesterday (Friday) morning.
However, the highly anticipated debate between the AGs attorney, Motsioeme Taunyane and Olatotse could not go on. Instead, the AGs attorney produced a draft consent order – a development that proves that the government had bowed down to BOPEU pressure.
Upon hearing the two counsels briefly, Diwanga ordered by consent that the respondents are granted leave to withdraw the opposition to the contempt of court application and points in limine.
“The respondents shall pay the applicant’s members all the due arrears on or before the 30th of September 2015,” said the judge, adding that the respondents shall also assimilate one Ezekiel Bashe and Gertrude Manakanyane on or before 30th of September 2015.
In the event that the respondents do not comply with the order, BOPEU’s application for contempt of court shall be moved unopposed on October 3rd 2015 here in Francistown.
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.