After spending more than P2 million on legal fees in the past two years, the Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) plans to use the boardroom more than the courts this year to settle labour issues, the union Secretary General, Tobokani Rari has revealed.
Speaking in a brief interview this week, Rari said his Federation does not intend to frequent the courts this year as they have challenged and tested enough labour laws in the past two years.
“We have done a lot by taking the government to court so as to iron out certain labour issues and it is now time to shift from the court to the boardroom,” Rari pointed out.
Rari who was re-elected the SG of BOFEPUSU over the weekend revealed that, his newly elected committee is fully aware that regional structures of the federation have been weakened because they have not been getting the attention and kind of energy they needed from the executive during those years.
“The structures which mushroomed in the districts during the 2011 strike have collapsed and they need our attention. It is no secret that there is disharmony within the federation which has reversed some of our gains. We want to be recognised as a tripartite organisation and we intend to go to the next International labour conference as delegates of BOFEPUSU. We have a lot in our plate, the list is very long,” Rari added.
The ILO conference is to be held in the coming four Months and Rari says by then, they should have ironed out the tripartite agreement between them, employees, the employer and the government.
Due to their hectic schedule for this year, Rari says BOFEPUSU would not have enough time for court cases.
However the federation has two pending cases before the courts which were recently remitted to the High court by the court of appeal. The two appeal cases which lasted a few hours cost the federation more than P365 000, Rari has further revealed.
The other case is in defence of the BOFEPUSU union member Secretary Generals who the DPSM wants to cancel their secondments. The concerned SGs include Rari himself of the Botswana Sector of Educators Union (BOSETU), Ketlhalefile Motshegwa of Botswana Landboards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLHWU) and Ibo Kenosi of Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) who were accused of uttering political statements contrary to the Public Service act.
Although the High court had since ruled in favour of the union, the court of Appeal is of the view that some of the rulings contained in the judgment were not in order.
In another case BOFEPUSU is challenging President’s Ian Khama’s right to announce salary increment and adjust the Public service condition of service without the support of the national bargaining Council and therefore breaching the duty of negotiating in good faith.
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.