Earth is such a gem it has been the scene of armed clashes between ET races warring for its proprietorship
Our planet, Earth, is 4.6 billion years old. The Solar System as a whole is 5 billion years old, calculated from the time the Sun, known as Sol in astronomy, came into being. Both these ages, that of Earth and the Solar System, are a drop in the ocean compared to that of this Internet-like universe itself. According to the Andromedans, the kindly Aliens from the Andromedan star system who have been communicating with Alex Collier (a human incarnate from that region of the universe), the universe is 21 trillion years old.
If the universe is 21 trillion years old, it means there is a lot that has happened over the ages we do not know. But wise King Solomon did provide us a cue. He says, “There is nothing new under the Sun. What has been will be again, and what has been done will be done gain.” – ECCLESIASTES 1:9. In other words, events are cyclical: they keep repeating themselves, not in exactly the same fashion but in one way or the other. Thus, what is happening today or what has happened in relatively recent times does provide a reasonable glimpse into what may have happened, say, millions or even billions of years ago. As such, we will always have an idea of what transpired ages before us even if we may not have hard facts.
Our generation is also fortunate in that ancient records, such as the Sumerian tablets, have surfaced and provide invaluable insights into what happened on our planet not only 6000 years or so ago but well beyond – from half a million years ago when the Anunnaki came to Earth and created mankind to 4 billion years ago when the Celestial Battle took place.
Now, when we say the Anunnaki, the Aliens from the Orion and Sirius star systems via planet Nibiru, “created” mankind, we use the term conventionally, that is, in its loosest sense. The Anunnaki did not create us as such: they fashioned us. They gave rise to Homo sapiens using genetic engineering – the fusion of their own genes with that of an ape-like being known as Homo erectus, a subject we will dwell upon in detail very soon. Put differently, we were the first humanoids indigenous to Earth, not the first humanoids to inhabit the planet. Before us, there were other beings on our planet.
HOW LIFE IS SEEDED
The seeding of a planet with life forms is known as panspermia. Throughout the universe, this seeding has taken place in two forms.
First, there is the seeding by beings who have come to be known as the Founders. Most pundits of the origins of life mistake these Founders with the Paal Taal, the first beings God, the First Source, created. This is unfortunate. This universe was not founded by the Paal Taal: it was founded by Lucifer and his host of angels, what Christianity refer to as demons. It is not a real universe: it is a counterfeit universe, a make-believe universe much like the cyberspace of the Internet. Lucifer and his angels constitute what we call the Dark Forces. The Dark Forces are the original creators of physical life in the universe. It is they who seeded it. This seeding by Dark Forces is what can aptly be called Direct Panspermia. In the case of Earth, Direct Panspermia occurred 4 billion years ago when the planet Nibiru smashed into the planet Tiamat and split it into our Earth and the Asteroid Belt. When Nibiru caused this Celestial Battle, it was already crawling with life forms in their earliest stages and these life forms were imparted to Earth. The life Nibiru transferred to Earth had been seeded on it by Dark Forces through scientific means. As we once pointed out, science is the art not of God but of Lucifer and his angels.
Direct Panspermia can also be done by Aliens who are scientifically and technologically advanced. Examples are the Siriuns (from the Sirius star system), the Aryans (from the Orion star system) and the Drakons (from the Draco star system). These Alien civilisations are capable of using meteors, asteroids, and other such small heavenly bodies to sow life on newly formed or discovered planetary bodies. They pack the meteors with seeds of organic life of all forms then direct those meteors at the planet. When the meteors crash into the planet, life is seeded there and then and over millions of years this life evolves into sophisticated creatures such as dinosaurs, apes and finally mankind.
The other way in which life is seeded, which has now become much more commonplace, involves transferring fully developed life forms from one planet or several other planets to another. For example, the Martians, supposing they evolved much earlier than us, would relocate several species of animals to Earth and leave them here for thousands of years, after which they would return to assess the stage of development of these animals. In this case therefore, it was not the seeds of life that were planted: it were full-fledged animals.
Now, you will be aware by now that there is no animal species that stays an animal forever. Every animal ultimately evolves into a humanoid (a being resembling humans but not exactly like us anatomically and physiologically) over millions of years. Dogs, cats, insects, birds, lizards, snakes, fishes, dolphins, bears, rats, rabbits, etc – they all ultimately assume forms that look like we are – with head, thorax, abdomen, two arms, two legs, upright gait. Facially, they may not look exactly like we are but they will be close. The evolutional blueprint of this universe as designed by Lucifer and his angels is that all creatures should at long last transform into humanoids.
Why must we evolve? Why can’t we just start as humanoids straightaway? It is part of Lucifer’s strategy to maximally benefit from his manipulation of us. Advanced beings, such as humans, treat animals with varying degrees of cruelty. We even feed on some animals and animals not only feed on each other but some of them can also feed on us. It is all part of Lucifer’ scheme to create polarity and mutual antagonism amongst creatures for this state of affairs serves to generate an endless amount of negative emotional energy on which he and his angels thrive.
Most of the human population are not aware that when we kill animals, they die with resentment. Animals have a primitive conscience and when they are cruelly killed – like the way we kill cows – they generate a protest hormone in their bloodstream and when we feed on their meat, we ingest that hormone too, with very deleterious effects on our physical wellbeing. These days, the multifarious diseases that have come to afflict mankind are sometimes attributed to the intrigues of the Illuminati but the greater degree of ailments come from the meat we eat. It is the “ill-will” of the animal that dies a most cruel death that gives rise to certain complex and incurable ailments. When Jesus said do unto others as you have them to do unto you, he knew what he was talking about. If we don’t treat animals the way we would want them to treat us, our wellbeing will always be shambolic, trust me folks.
A LIVING GENETIC LIBRARY
Planet Earth has two key attributes that make it unique. The first is that it is the most treasured planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. If it were a mineral, it would be called gold, the most prized of all commodities. Earthlings do not know just how special their planet is but Aliens do. There is simply no other planet like Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy: that’s the long and short of it. Second, Earth has been the scene of more wars than any other planet in our galaxy. Advanced Alien civilisations have fought pitched wars against each other for hegemony over this planet. No wonder it is so jinxed with wars: there is never a single moment when a war is not raging in some part of the planet.
What makes planet Earth so unique? Well, the collective of civilisations in the Milky Way Galaxy long designated the planet as the galaxy’s Living Genetic Library. The familiar concept of a library is that of a place where you find all sorts of books on all sorts of topics authored by all sorts of authors. In the case of a genetic library, it is a place where you find all sorts of life forms fashioned by all sorts of civilisations from all sorts of places in the broader universe.
In 2011, scientists postulated that there were 8.7 million species of life on our planet and this was just an estimate. 86 percent of these species have not even been described. And what is more, new species are being discovered each year. In 2015, for instance, new discoveries included the world’s tiniest snail (smaller than the head of a match); toothed frogs; musical spiders (they produce mating songs); and the Ninja Lanternshark (a shark with the face of a Japanese Ninja!). Animal species are just as varied as plant life on our planet.
A little-known fact to the wider global citizenry is that most of Earth’s fauna (animal kingdom) is not indigenous to Earth. Many were brought from other planets in the vast expanse of the Milky Galaxy in their fully developed form and deposited into the Living Library that is our planet to propagate themselves. Both benevolent and malevolent Aliens deposited a life form here, with some of these life forms “authored” right here on Earth through genetic tinkering or hybridisation. That’s why we have poisonous plants as well as well as medicinal or edible plants. That’s why we have wild animals and domesticated animals. That’s why we have fierce and harmless animals.
Earth is what it is not by accident but by deliberate design. It was meant to be a Living Genetic Library. And just as we borrow books from a library and return them at the due time, various civilisations from various parts of the universe come to Earth to harvest life forms, take them to their planets, and have them reproduce either naturally or by way of cloning. However, when Aliens take from our planet, they rarely return what they took. It seems they are not under obligation to return what they borrowed since they are reaping what they sowed.
Earth was also meant to be a huge pharmacopoeia; a natural drug store replete with herbal cures to every and any ailment. Our own ancestors of several generations back were aware of what a treasure trove Earth was in this respect. They were able to cure every conceivable disease using only herbal medicine: whether it was cancer, heart attack, or a stroke, our ancestors had very potent and efficacious cures for all these maladies. My late paternal grandmother used to tell us that there were only three ways Africans died in the not-too-distant past: through violence, witchcraft, or old age. Otherwise, every natural disease was curable. Even in the case of witchcraft, some herbalists knew how to concoct countervailing medicine that could reverse a disease caused by witchcraft or perform rituals that would neutralise the dark forces behind the disease. Demons which tormented and afflicted some people were driven away not through prayer but through a ritual dance, the performance of certain rites, and the utterance of certain invocative words.
It is tear-jerking that we have now been so taken in by imported faiths that every practice wrought by our ancestors is dismissed as demonic, primitive, or benighted. All traditional medicines they dug up and used are demonic and all ceremonies they used to perform are demonic. We have painted everything they did with the same brush thanks to inveterate indoctrination by our Western brothers who came with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. This Earth, My Brother …
REPTILIANS, HUMANOIDS VIE FOR CONTROL OF EARTH
Aliens who have fought for the control of Earth are in three categories basically. These are Reptilians, Serpentines, and Humanoids.
The Reptilians have mostly been the Drakons from the Draco star system. Serpentines have mainly been Aryans, the beings from the Orion star system. Humanoids have primarily been those from the Sirius star system, Procyon, and Aldebaran. Galactic wars are seldom fought between planets: typically, they are fought between species. Reptilians have always engaged in war against humanoids, either directly or indirectly, a tone that was set with the first galactic war in the Lyraen star system when Reptilians invaded that region of the galaxy, conquered it, destroyed several planets in a high-tech war, and had the humanoids who peopled that star system scatter all over the universe – a theme we have already discussed.
Our planet Earth is today dominated by humans, but that has not always been the case. Once, Earth was dominated by Reptilians, who were the first to evolve on the planet from dinosaurs. Reptilians are in two major categories. There are foreign Reptilians, who are usurpers from other regions of space, notably the Draco star system. Then there are indigenous Reptilians, the strain that evolved from dinosaurs right here on Earth and who are genetic cousins of the Drakons. Indigenous Reptilians live under the Earth, in a world inconceivably more sophisticated than the one we have on the surface.
Reptilians have always claimed Earth belongs to them because they were the first to evolve on the planet. But when you are firstborn, it does not necessarily follow that you have sole entitlement to a bequest. True, our primate ancestors, the apes, came much later than dinosaurs but we have as much a claim to ownership of Earth as Reptilians. Reptilians contend that we are not pure Earthlings because our genetics are a mixture of several Alien species whereas theirs are pure. In a way they are right, but it is not our fault that our genetics are a hybrid. We did not ask to be hybridised. We were the victims of hybridisation. If we had been left alone as Homo erectus, we would one day have evolved into pure humans. In any case, Reptilians themselves have hybridised themselves with humans in a bid to reclaim rulership of Earth. The people in position of political, economic, military, and religious power today in much of the influential world are all Reptilian/human hybrids.
Every time there have been high-tech wars between Reptilians and humanoids on our planet, it has been either they have decimated each other or one species has triumphed over the other. In the war that wiped off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, Drakons used a particle beam weapon that triggered a 200-year-long winter on the planet just to wrestle control of the planet from humanoids. On average, however, humanoids have won most of the wars and that’s why we’re a dominant race on the planet today populationwise. The reason Reptilians live underground is because they were driven there in the aftermath of a war with humanoids (who were not indigenous to Earth but came from Procyon).
Following the destruction that was wrought on the planet by Alien Reptilians, the Aryans of Orion at some stage came to the planet to restore it to its pristine condition, a competence in which they are very well-versed. Since then, Earth (and the Solar System as a whole) has been claimed by Arians as their property. Earth is therefore part of the Orion Empire, with the Aryans being the appointed Guardians of this Living Genetic Library. The Aryans (who evolved from the snake species) are allied with the Siriuns (who evolved from a Wolfen-Leonine creature) though their alliance keeps blowing hot and cold. However, Reptilians still have hijacked control, either directly or indirectly, of some parts of the Solar System. The planet Saturn and the Moon, for example, are directly controlled by Reptilians.
At an economically tumultuous juncture of our country’s history as we presently are, where unemployment has become something of a Gordian Knot conundrum, a promisingly ameliorational pursuit known as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is well worth exploring as a salvavic option.
One pundit defines BPO as “a subset of outsourcing that involves contracting the operations and responsibilities for a particular business process to a third-party service provider.” Examples of BPO services, which invariably do not constitute a company’s core or primary mission, include inbound and outbound call centres, live chat, bookkeeping, web development, research marketing, accounting and finance, and after-hours call answering services. BPO is driven, fundamentally, by the imperative of cost-cutting and overrides national boundaries through the employment and deployment of technologies that make human and data communications easier, thus lending credence to the concept of the global village that is today’s world.
BPO had been in existence in its primordial form since as early as the 19th century but it was not until the 1980s that its latter-day incarnation loomed larger and the term outsourcing became part of daily business parlance. Today, every continent is into BPO, including the economic Dark Horse called Africa. The Global IT-BPO Outsourcing Deals Analysis segments BPO buyer regions into three categories. These are North and South America (42 percent); Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (35 percent); and Asia and Oceania 23 percent.
In a Third World country such as Botswana, overseas-oriented BPO is key to bringing in those paramount hard currencies besides engendering a radical turnaround in the all too dingy joblessness picture. But are we up to it folks? Have we gotten aboard the bandwagon or we are virtual spectators watching nonchalantly as the BPO locomotive streaks away at breakneck speed?
JAX’S FLASH-IN-THE-PAN SUCCESS
The extent to which BPO has taken root in Botswana is not apparent. The first time I heard of it was in August 2007, when the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA), then going by the name Botswana Training Authority (BOTA), put it on record at a one-day IFSC-organised conference that they were in the process of developing standards for the nascent BPO industry in Botswana whilst they benchmarked with Mauritius, the UK, and South Africa. Little, if anything at all, has been heard of their progress since.
In February 2018, The Botswana Guardian reported of the newly-established Direct BPO, a fully-owned subsidiary of Mascom, which was looking to employing 400 people at the very outset. Once again, details as to how Direct BPO, whose establishment coincided with Mascom’s 20-year anniversary, has fared to date remain sketchy.
Perhaps the most spectacular case of a BPO operation in Botswana was that of Oseg, a company begun by Majakathata Pheko, affectionately known as Jax, in 2003 under the Debtsolve franchise umbrella. Oseg, which comprised of three divisions, offered customer management and financial services solutions and operated out of Gaborone and Windhoek in Namibia, where it touted MTN as its principal client. Oseg did receivable management for local financial blue chips such as Barclays Bank, FNB, Bayport, MVA, Botswana Insurance Company, Letshego, and Standard Chartered, and in due course CEDA and Mascom. It also served the Australian offshore market. Its account receivable division was the biggest in Botswana, handling over 60,000 accounts and managing a portfolio of over P400 million.
At its height, Oseg employed 150 people and had spent over P15 million on cutting edge technology and manpower training. In 2007, Oseg was nominated for Best Non-European Contact Centre at the CCF Awards held that year in Birmingham, UK, the “Oscars of the industry”.
Then in 2016, the sky seemed to have fallen. Oseg found itself saddled with an odious P4.4 million debt, with its staff resultantly trimmed to just under 50. According to media reports, Jax pointed to his own bankrollers and their partners in the alleged crime as his rather devious saboteurs. “I have evidence that powerful people in the bank and a cabal of friends both inside and outside the bank were intentionally and aggressively looking for ways to weaken Oseg, tarnish its name and diminish its value as they were in the same competing business interests, in the call centre and the factoring business,” the then youthful entrepreneur, who was only 41 at the time, bemoaned.
Jax reported the matter to NBFIRA and what came of that, not to mention the continued viability of his business, I have not been able to establish. I just hope and trust that Jax personally weathered the tempest as I have it on good authority that he is doing fairly well.
BOTSWANA MISSING OUT ON DOLLAR-DENOMINATED BILLIONS
For emerging economies, and even peripheral Third World countries, the BPO business can be something of a gold mine. According to the latest McKinsey report, the global BPO industry is valued at $163 billon and is expected to grow at $183 billion by the year 2023.
In the Philippines, BPO, which began with a call centre setup way back in 1992, accounts for 11 percent of GDP, the single biggest contributor to the nation’s economic activity. It employs 1.3 million people in over 700 outsourcing companies. One company, called Teleperformance, alone employs 47,000 people in 21 sites. In 2019, the BPO sector generated revenues of the order of $26.3 billion.
In India, the BPO sector, now 30 years old, provides direct employment to 2 million people and indirect employment to 8 million. In 2019, the BPO income overall amounted to $8.6 billon. In Mauritius, the ICT/BPO sector contributed 6 percent to GDP in 2019, representing a key driver of the Mauritian economy. The BPO sector is responsible for 53 percent of the 27,000 people employed in the ICT/BPO superstructure in 850 companies.
According to the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, leading multinationals such as Accenture, Huawei, Aspen Pharmacare and Allianz have back office operations in Mauritius. In addition, a number of international payroll companies currently use Mauritius as a service delivery centre.
Kenya is also looking to position itself as a hub for global digital BPO, notably through government promotion schemes such as Ajira. According to the ITC Authority of Kenya, the market size for online work was estimated to be $4.8 billion in 2016 and was projected to generate $15 billon by 2020. With only 7000 people employed in the BPO industry in the country, we are talking about a modest figure though it is still brisk compared to the rather lugubrious situation in Botswana. Clearly, there are billions in US dollar terms to be had in BPO and we are missing out on these big time.
MZANZI LEAVES BW IN THE DUST
Yet it is Big Brother next door from whom we have precious much to glean as he is our immediate competitor potentially in the BPO race. Remember, if our IFSC continues to flounder to date, it is largely on account of the fact that in Mzansi, we have a formidable rival right on our doorstep.
As we speak, the South African BPO sector is valued at $461 million going by the invariably authoritative McKinsey survey. It employs 270,000 people in six cities, a figure projected to more than double to 775,000 by 2030. Of the current total staff base, 65,000 serve international clients. That South Africa has made such enormous strides in the BPO arena is meritoriously earned and not simply fortuitous. It has been voted the second most attractive BPO location in the world for three years on the trot.
The South African BPO sector is tipped to grow by 3 percent per annum over the next three years, a rate which is in line with the trends in the global BPO space. There are currently over 100 local and international BPO providers operating in South Africa, with local players in the main serving large multinational customers. The industry’s key offshore business clientele is domiciled in English-speaking countries, notably the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, with 61 percent coming from the United Kingdom, 18 percent from the United States and Canada, and 11 percent from Australia.
In June this year, the $1.5 trillion-strong Amazon announced that it would be signing up a total of 3000 South Africans to help cater to its customers in North America and Europe, which is testament to the fact that the country’s BPO market continues to make waves in the Western world. If Jeff Bizos is impressed, you can count on the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to follow suit too sooner rather than later.
A FORGONE OPPORTUNITY TO TURBO-CHARGE THE BPO INDUSTRY IN BOTSWANA
Empowerment Africa is an organisation that boasts a business network that enables established and emerging businesses to connect, partner, and create long-term value with Africa-based projects. With reportedly 3000 esteemed contacts, it liaises with governments, major corporations, and investors to facilitate business opportunities, deliver deal flow, and provide research across its network to the Empower Africa business community.
Empowerment Africa recommends seven countries in Africa with thriving outsourcing industries. They are Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius, and Madagascar in that order. Botswana is conspicuous by its absence and that must be ample cause for concern to our Monetary Authorities, especially given that at least on paper, we are economically better off than three to four of these countries.
In 2015, Jax approached the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture and propositioned a joint partnership with Oseg in unlocking BPO potential in Botswana by looking at the public sector Debt Collection and Call Centre services for government. Jax reckoned that the total market for Receivables and Revenue collections sitting in Government and Parastatal organisations at the time amounted to over P3.5 billion, equivalent to 8% of the National Budget then. If the BPO sector was to be utilised to assist in collecting this debt, over 2700 jobs would be created.
Furthermore, considering that a typical government employee spent half the time attending to inquiries from members of the public, the exercise would result in improved efficiency delivery in government departments in addition to boosting government’s liquidity position.
This is what Jax said in a 50th independence anniversary publication in 2016 on the same subject. “Our estimations are that once all the collections work is outsourced, there is a potential to collect more than P100 million every month for the Government of Botswana.
The opportunity to create more than 2700 exists, which will help to mop out unemployed graduates and upskill them. The economic impact of 2700 jobs would support more than 15,000 people in the economy and also help to create jobs in other industries that support the BPO sector, and will stimulate the whole ICT sector. Over and above that, the outsourcing would stimulate the whole IT sector and help improve Botswana’s position as an ICT and Call Centre hub.”
Once again, I am not privy to what came of this proposition, but I am persuaded that had government acceded to it, the BPO business in the country would have quantum-leaped and we would today be waltzing on the proverbial Cloud 9 in terms of revenues generated. Even the road retarder Oseg encountered with its bankers would not have been a factor at all. As significant, we would in all probability have made it on Empowerment Africa’s short list for the continent’s pre-eminent BPO addresses.
THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF GOVERNMENT IN BOOSTING BPO FORTUNES
Granted, with the advent of the still latent E-Governance, the synergic potential with the Call Centre business is stupendous. As per Jax’s pitch to those who care to hear, “The outsourcing of the E-Governance and collections will greatly improve efficiency in service delivery in the government departments. Directing traffic and enquiries to a Call Centre would empower the BPO sector in such a way that would be able to help the public from all over the country from one central point 24 hours and 7 days week.
The Call Centres would also relieve Government of the pressure to develop brick and mortar representations/offices across the country. This would help to save billions of Pula as the public will be able to access the services from the comfort of their homes and villages. The Call Centre service would bridge the urban and rural division as everyone will now be able to access Government services and receive the same service.”
The real jackpot both to government and the broader citizenry, however, resides in the offshore market. With sales cycles in the BPO business taking up to 12 months, contracts typically run from five to seven years, which is sustained lucrativeness by any measure. It is in the direction of the overseas market that much of our energy should be focused, though wary that we do not recklessly neglect the domestic market, if we are to reinvigorate the BPO industry and get meaningful returns out of it.
Developed countries are all the more keen to outsource as one way to insulate their economies against severe hurt inflicted by globalwide economic tremors. For instance, it was thanks to offshore outsourcing that Australia so ably navigated the 2008 economic crisis. That year, IBM released a BPO report showing that 80% of Australian companies were willing to outsource from offshore companies to save 50% in expenses.
Here in Botswana, I would recommend that government be in the BPO vanguard by splashing on a whole host of catalytic factors. In South Africa, for instance, the Department of Industry, Trade and Competition devoted R1.3 billion between 2007 and 2018 to bolstering the BPO industry in one way or the other and committed a further R1.2 billion in 2019 alone, gestures which no doubt underlie the solid performance of the industry.
Even when the lockdowns were in progress, the industry was accorded essential services status so that it kept the momentum going. As if not to be outdone, the South African BPO industry body, Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA), has commendably done its part in aiding the growth of the industry by supporting skills development, sharing best practice, and providing its members with access to other business networks and associations that drive and influence the sector’s transition into the digital economy. In Mauritius, the Prime Minister himself, and not a man of lesser stature, directly oversees the BPO sector.
For Botswana to make a mark in the BPO arena, it has to build a reputation as a reliable, cost-effective, and high-quality destination for outsourced business services, attributes all of which South Africa excels in. In addition, South African BPO players provide higher-quality services owing to strength across five key areas: availability of skills, infrastructure, risk profile, business environment, and industry size. In Botswana, we will need to nurture some of these strengths with the instrumentality of government.
With the advent of COVID-19, it is of essence that traditional BPO providers build capabilities to enable rapid deployment and ramp-up of fully functional teams under crisis scenarios. Operational resilience, that is, the ability to pivot when an ordinarily disruptive set of circumstances hits, is key. South Africa demonstrated this capacity most eloquently when 90 percent of the workforce was able to switch to remote work in residential settings, when 50 percent of operations in key competing locations such as the Philippines and India came to a virtual standstill.
Lastly but by no means the least, a competitive currency is a reasonably efficacious undercutting strategy. In recent months, the South African Rand has significantly weakened against the US dollar, in which the cost of outsourcing is typically denominated, and this has enabled South African BPOs to compete more effectively with Asian offerings.
It concerns me that last year, the Pula appreciated by 1.6 percent against the SDR (Special Drawing Right), which is a compound of five currencies, namely the US dollar, the British Pound, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, and the Chinese Yuan. If that relatively ripped Pula trajectory persists, it will not help our BPO competitiveness at all Rre Moses Pelaelo.
Mighty Persian King ends Babylonian exile after 60 years
For all his euphoria and grandiose preparations for Nibiru King Anu’s prospective visit to Earth, General Atiku, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t live to savour this potentially highly momentous occasion. In fact, none of his next three bloodline successors were destined to witness up-close the return of the Planet of the Gods, as Nibiru was referred to in Sumerian and Egyptian chronicles.
Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 BC, having ruled for 43 years, missing Nibiru, which showed up circa 550 BC as we set down in The Earth Chronicles series, by a whisker. During the next 6 years, he had three successors in such an unconscionably short period of time. His immediate one was Merodach, his eldest son.
In Botswana, the Trade Disputes Act, 2016 (“the Act”) provides the framework within which trade disputes are resolved. This framework hinges on four legs, namely mediation, arbitration, industrial action and litigation. In this four-part series, we discuss this framework.
In last week’s article, we discussed the third leg of Botswana’s trade dispute resolution framework-industrial action. In this article, we discuss the fourth leg, namely litigation at the Industrial Court. The Act does not define the term litigation. Litigation is generally understood to mean a situation where parties to a trade dispute take their dispute to a court, in this case the Industrial Court, for determination by a judge.
Just like an arbitrator, a judge’s decision is binding on the parties though they can, of course, appeal it. However, while an arbitrator must be acceptable to both parties, a judge does not have to be acceptable to the parties. A party can, however, apply for the judges’ recusal from the case for such reasons as reasonable apprehension of bias.
Before discussing litigation at the Industrial Court, it is apposite that a brief background of the origins and evolution of the Industrial Court be given. The original Trade Disputes Act (No. 19/1982) provided for disputes to be adjudicated, inter alia, by a Permanent Arbitrator. This is confirmed in Veronica Moroka & 2 Others v The Attorney General and Another, Court of Appeal Civil Appeal No. CACGB-121-17 at para 11.
The Industrial Court replaced the institution of the Permanent Arbitrator (Dingake Collective Labour Law in Botswana 23) following the enactment of the Trade Disputes Act (No. 23/1997) which, as confirmed in the Veronica Moroka case supra, came into force on 9 October 1997.
As per Kirby JP, in the Veronica Moroka case supra, the Industrial Court’s status “as a court was uncertain and no provision was made for it to be served by a Registrar, with the usual powers and duties of such office”.
The Court of Appeal, in Botswana Railways Organization v Setsogo and Others, 1996 BLR 763 CA, remedied this defect. It held that the Industrial Court was not a mere statutory tribunal, but was, in line with Section 127(1) of the Constitution of Botswana, a subordinate court, having limited jurisdiction.
Following the change of the definition of subordinate court by Act 2/2002 to exclude the Industrial Court, along with the Court of Appeal, the High Court and a court martial, the Industrial Court became a superior court, albeit still with limited jurisdiction unlike the High Court, for instance, which has inherent unlimited jurisdiction.
Consequently, appeals from the Industrial Court were referred to the Court of Appeal. Perhaps most significantly, according to Veronica Moroka, Industrial Court judges were now, just like High Court judges, protected by, inter alia, security of tenure.
The Trade Disputes Act was further amended and replaced by the Trade Disputes Act, 2003 which commenced on 6 April 2004 as Act No. 15 of 2004. Section 16(8) of this Act provided for the appointment of the Registrar and an Assistant Registrar, but still had no section clothing them with specific powers.
It, through section 20(3), also bestowed, in the Court, the power to hear urgent applications and, in terms of section 18(1), the power to grant interdicts, thereby remedying the defects identified in Botswana Railways Organization v Setsogo & Others supra, but it still had no provision dealing with writs of execution and sales flowing therefrom.
In terms of section 18(1) of the Act, the Industrial Court’s jurisdiction includes the power to hear and determine all trade disputes except disputes of interest as well as, in terms of section 20(1) (b) of the Act, the power to interdict any unlawful industrial action and to grant general interdicts, declaratory orders or interim orders.
In terms of section 20(1) (c) of the Act, the Industrial Court is also clothed with the power to hear appeals and reviews of the decisions of mediators and arbitrators respectively. It, in terms of section 20(1) (d) of the Act, has the power to direct the Commissioner to assign a mediator to mediate a dispute if it is of the opinion that the matter has not been properly mediated or requires further mediation.
In terms of section 20(1) (e) of the Act, the Industrial Court also has the power to direct the Commissioner to refer a dispute that is before the Court for arbitration. In terms of section 20(1) (f) of the Act, it has the power to refer any matter to an expert and, at the Court’s discretion, to accept the expert’s report as evidence in the proceedings.
The Industrial Court also has the power to give such directions to parties to a trade dispute provided the object of such directions is the expedient and just hearing and determination or disposal of any dispute before it.
In terms of section 20(2) of the Act, any matter of law and any question as to whether a matter for determination is a matter of law or a matter of fact is decided by the presiding judge. In terms of section 20(3) of the Act, with respect to all issues other than those referred to under section 20 (2), the decision of the majority of the Court prevails.
Where there is no majority decision under section 20 (3), the decision of the judge prevails. In terms of section 24(2) of the Act, any interested party in any proceedings under the Act may appear by legal representation or may be represented by any other person so authorised by that party.
In terms of section 28(2) of the Act, a decision of the Industrial Court has the same force and effect as a decision of the High Court, and because, unlike South Africa, Botswana has no Labour Appeal Court, decisions of the Industrial Court, just like those of the High Court, are, in terms of section 20(5) of the Act, appealable to the highest court in the land, that is, the Court of Appeal.
The Trade Disputes Act went through another amendment in 2016. Section 14 of the Act ensures the continuation of the Industrial Court. It outlines its functions as the settlement of trade disputes as well as the securing and maintenance of good industrial relations in Botswana.
In terms of section 15(1) of the Act, the judges of the Industrial Court are appointed by the state President from among persons possessing the qualifications to be judges of the High Court as prescribed under section 96 of the Constitution.
In terms of section 15(2) of the Act, these judges are headed by the President of the Industrial Court designated by the state President from among the judges.
In terms of section 15(4) of the Act, a judge of the Industrial Court who is not a citizen of Botswana or who is not appointed on permanent and pensionable terms may be appointed on contract basis and is eligible for reappointment.
In terms of section 15(5) of the Act, Judges of the Industrial Court sit with two nominated members, one of whom is selected by the judge from among persons nominated by the organisation representing employees or trade unions in Botswana and the other selected by the judge from among persons nominated by the organisation representing employers in Botswana.
In terms of section 15(6) of the Act, where, for any reason, the nominated members are or either of them is absent for any part of the hearing of a trade dispute, the jurisdiction of the court may be exercised by the judge alone or with the remaining member of the Court, whichever the case may be, unless the judge, for good reason, decides that the hearing should be postponed.
In terms of section 18(1) of the Act, An Industrial Court judge vacates office on attaining the age of 70 years, provided that the state President may permit him or her to continue in office for such period as may be necessary to enable him or her to deliver judgment or to do any other thing in relation to proceedings that had commenced before him or her.
In terms of section 18(2) of the Act, in accordance with the provisions of the proviso to section 96(6) of the Constitution, a person appointed to act as an Industrial Court judge vacates that office on attaining the age of 75 years.
In terms of section 19(1) (a) and (b) of the Act, an Industrial Court judge may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his or her office, whether arising from infirmity of body or mind, or from any other cause or for serious misconduct.
In terms of section 19(2) of the Act, the power to remove an Industrial Court judge from office vests in the state President acting in accordance with the procedure provided under section 97 of the Constitution for the removal of High Court judges.
*Ndulamo Anthony Morima, LLM(NWU); LLB(UNISA); DSE(UB); CoP (BAC); CoP (IISA) is the proprietor of Morima Attorneys. He can be contacted at 71410352 or firstname.lastname@example.org