Union is cemented by matrimonial union of Anu and Orion Queen
The name Anu means “One who is of Heaven” or simply “The Heavenly One”. It is important, though, that we bear in mind that in antiquity, the term Heaven was not overloaded with the ethereal connotations it is in our day. It did not fundamentally mean the spiritual place we’re supposed to go to after we die: that was a secondary concept. Heaven in antiquity largely referred to the Sirius and Orion star systems, these being the places where the “gods”, the scientifically and technologically advanced Anunnaki, originated.
Heaven was the place not of spiritual gods but of flesh-and-blood gods. In fact, it was not to Heaven the ancients looked forward to go when they died. Rather, they wished to join their ancestors in a subterranean world right here on Earth. Although they said their gods (the Anunnaki) came from Heaven, they themselves were of the belief they came from the underworld and it was there they were to return upon their demise. It was the advent of religion, a Anunnaki blindfold, that propagandised the focus on the
When they directly ruled Earth, the Anunnaki were passed off as gods by primitive mankind owing to the seemingly supernatural things they did, such as flying aircraft, and their extraordinary longevity, both of which seemed like miracles to our forbearers. The planet Nibiru was also considered to be Heaven in that every time the Sirian King Anu came to visit Earth, he came by way of Nibiru, which is a virtual global spaceship. The Anunnaki actually used to promise mankind that if they were tame and obedient, they would be taken to Nibiru physically or proceed there after they died and not to the underworld, which was now span as an infernal known as Hell. Those who were physically taken to Nibiru at one time or the other included Adam, Enoch, Jacob, and Elijah. Enoch went there twice and never returned after his second foray. Elijah is actually being awaited by the Jews even as we speak.
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN
Anu was the “Our Father Who art in Heaven” in what is called “The Lord’s Prayer”. (It was not Jesus’s prayer though; it was put in his mouth by the gospel writers. The prayer was lifted straight from what ancient Egyptians called “The Maxims of Anu”, precepts which are preserved on a papyrus archived in a Cairo museum.) He was the third ruler of Sirius under male rule and the 22nd overarching ruler of Nibiru. Initially, Anu had one senior wife (Antu) and five concubines, who had their own quarters in a wing of the palace called the House of Concubines. He would over time sire over 80 children.
Anu’s Cabinet is said to have included the following: Chief Chamberlain; three Commanders in charge of the Rocket ships; two Commanders of the Weapons; a Minister of the Purse; two Chief Justices; two Masters of Written Knowledge; two Chief Scribes; and five Assistant Scribes. Defence and “Star Wars” seemed to be of paramount importance: of the 11-man Cabinet (excluding the 7 scribes) five were military men! The palace itself, which was located in what was called the “Pure Place”, was protected by two awesome weapon systems, overseen by two princes going by the titles Commanders of the Weapons.
Besides a Cabinet setup, there was a Council of Counsellors (Advisors) as well as what the Sumerians called an “Assembly of the Gods”. This was a form of Kgotla forum at which it was mandatory for everybody present – hundreds of people from all walks of life – to voice a view. It was held in the Throne Room of the palace and was meant to mobilise opinion from the common herd.
When Anu came to power in Sirius, he appointed his eldest son by Antu as ruler of Nibiru. The name of this son was AN-EN, meaning “Crown Prince”. His titular name, however, was ENE-EL-ILE, which meant “Lord of Abundant Clarity”. This was the title given to the commander of exploratory space flights as well as the international space station. In Sumerian, ENE-EL-ILE was abbreviated to ENLIL. Enlil, who when he later administered planet Earth was also known as Jehovah or Yahweh, had served in the global air force as well as star ship pilot and was highly esteemed as a disciplined and efficient administrator. However, Enlil was not allowed to rule Nibiru as King: he was to do so only as Viceroy, that is, Nibiru’s ruler on behalf of Anu.
Entrusting rule of Nibiru to Enlil was both strategic and precautionary on the part of Anu. It was strategic because Enlil was his own flesh and blood. It was precautionary because being so far afield, it would be difficult for Enlil to plot the ouster of his father as was commonplace those days.
TWO GREAT ROYALS TIE KNOT
When Anu became King of Sirius, his foremost aim was to declare autonomy from the Orion Queen, to whom the Sirius star system was subordinate. Anu was incensed that the Orion Queen had, so he suspected, allowed Alalu to get away scotfree with his cleverly contrived riddance of his grandfather Anan. He therefore reasoned that if the Queen could brook such a crime against his iconic grandfather, she could also condone its repeat against him by elements within the Sirian armed forces who remained loyal to Alalu.
Now, the Queen’s intelligence apparatus pervaded both the military and civil society of Sirius. So it wasn’t long before she got wind of what Anu was contemplating. The Queen had cause to be anxious about Anu’s machinations. For starters, Sirius had made great headway in military might. In fact, the technology of Sirius now surpassed even that of Orion. Second, Reptilians of the Draco star system had set up their own colony in the planetary system of Betelgeuse, a prominent star in Orion. These Reptilians were initially mercenaries King Anan had hired when he rebelled against Queen Uraki II. Their founding of their own world in Betelgeuse was part of the peace settlement between the two warring parties of the Wolfen World at the ascendancy of King Anan.
The Queen was concerned that if Anu went ahead to declare independence from Orion and the Orion army pounced, the Betelgeuse Reptilians would come to the aid of Anu and the war would be long and protracted, with untold numbers of casualties on either side. Moreover, it was possible that Anu could win the war, with the result that Orion would lose control of the prestigious and phenomenally lucrative 9th Passageway.
In order to forestall such a scenario, the Queen came up with a well-thought-through plan. Anu and herself should come together in marriage, so that there would be only one King and one Queen of the conjoined Syrian and Orion Empires. Both Anu and the Orion Queen were relatively young and were of the same generation although the Queen was slightly older: both had succeeded to the throne at roughly the same time. The matrimonial union, therefore, would not be reprehensibly out of kilter.
Soon, royal advisers from both sides met and it was out of their deliberations that the marriage was broached. When the proposition was tabled before Anu, he endorsed it wholeheartedly without realising that it was actually initiated by the Queen. For some time after Anu popped the question, the Queen even was cunning enough to play hard to get before she finally said yes. It was a very easy decision on her part since the Orion Queen never married: she was only sexually serviced by a harem of men known as the KHARIM. Anu, on the other hand, had his great wife Antu to contend with. If he married the Orion Queen, it meant Antu would have to take second place. Moreover, it also meant that Antu’s firstborn son, Enlil, would in all likelihood no longer be heir: he would be supplanted by the firstborn son of the Orion Queen.
But since Anu was King, there was no way the wishes of Antu would stand in his way, nor the feelings of his heir Enlil. To cut a long story short, King Anu and Queen Ma of Orion had two weddings, one on the SSS Word in Orion and another on the Wolfen World in Sirius. It was the most topical wedding in the already advanced and attuned worlds of the Milky Way Galaxy, attended by dignitaries from every major, friendly star system and all the colonised or subsidiary planets. The Sirian King retained his title as Anu, whereas the Orion Queen chose the official title of EKE (also rendered “EGE” or “IGI”, meaning “Creatrix”), abbreviated as KI. In the subsidiary worlds such ours, however, she was primarily addressed as KE-EA, meaning “Divine Creatrix”, also rendred as GA-EA or GA-IA, the famous “mythological” goddess of Earth during a certain era. She was also referred to as Antu since it somewhat rhymed with Anu.
The union of the two mega monarchs explains why Orion and Sirius have been the most famous star systems in the history of Earth in the last 500,000 years, with major landmarks (such as the Egyptian pyramids, for instance), astronomically aligned, primarily, with Mintaka, the throne world of Orion, and Sirius A.
ENKI APPEARS ON THE SCENE
The Orion Queen’s oldest son went by the princely title EA, also rendered AJA, AYA, or EJE. Ea originally meant “Diving Being”. In Sumerian times (about 6000 years ago), however, it would come to mean “He whose house is water”. This latter meaning had two connotations in the main. The first referred to fish (the emblem of the astrological Age of Pisces which was associated with Ea), as indeed fish reside in a body of water. The second had to do with space. The ancients referred to space as the “Ocean of the Khaa”. Khaa was a euphemism for the SSS beings, the people of Orion. It was a fitting name for space as the Orion Queen controlled the 9th Passageway, the principal galactic trade route .
Ea’s other title was ENE-EKE, meaning “Creator Prince”. ENE–EKE would over time be abbreviated as ENKI (or EN-GI). Ea was called Enki because he was at once the son of the Orion Queen and the SSS world’s master geneticist. As a geneticist, he was a virtual creator since he could mix the genes of several species to create a new species or simply tinker with the genome to get rid of certain traits and bring up new ones. It is in fact acknowledged throughout our galaxy that the SSS race, also known as the serpent race, are the best geneticists there are.
Now, in case you have forgotten what we said about the SSS people, we did underline the fact that they reproduced both sexually and asexually (without fertilisation by male gametes). This phenomenon was a carryover from their initial evolutional background as Khebs – a dragonfly-bee. We all know that bees produce either sexually or asexually. In the case of sexual reproduction, the resulting offspring is always a female. In the case of asexual reproduction, the result is always a male. The SSS people continued to reproduce that way even as humanoids, such that in the case of the Queen, all the princess were born through sexual reproduction and all the princes were born by way of asexual reproduction. As such, Enki had no father at all: only a mother. Where have we heard that before? In the Jesus story of course.
On the SSS World, princes did not succeed to the throne, being a predominantly matrilineal society. Only princesses did. Orion didn’t have kings at all. As such, Enki was not destined to rule. He would always be secondary to his sisters.
ENLIL LEAPFROGS ENKI
The marriage of King Anu and the Orion Queen was largely ceremonial. Whilst it would be consummated, it was not meant to produce new offspring. The reasons this was the case are not clear in the cosmic chronicles. The question that thus arose was, who would succeed to the joint throne once both the King and Queen passed on?
Male chauvinism seems to have rode roughshod over female assertion. There were two senior princes at the time. These were Enlil, Anu’s firstborn son, and Enki, the Queen’s firstborn son. Enki was slightly older than Enlil, but it was agreed that Enlil should be the anointed heir since he was of male parentage. But the third in line to the throne would not be Enlil’s son: it would be Enki’s son. That was how rulership of the joint Sirius and Orion kingdom would alternate.
Enlil was excited by the development, whereas Enki was wroth. He just couldn’t understand why his mother had compromised to the extent she did when Orion had been historically the mightier empire. His diminution in rank would continue to bubble in him throughout his life.
It was also decided that in order to further consolidate relations between Sirius and Orion, Enlil should marry one of the Queen’s daughters who was still single at the time. Outwardly, Enlil agreed but he said he would only marry at a much later date since he was presently too busy running the affairs of Nibiru. What he kept to himself was the fact that he believed in racial purity: under no circumstances was he going to mix Sirian blood with a woman from a serpentine race, people he looked down upon. In point of fact, the lady he had set his sights on was his half-sister Ninmah, who he was already courting but who was still too young to wed.
Anu, however, had decided that Ninmah should marry Enki and Enki was agreeable to that. Meanwhile, Enki was given the green light to take an already grown woman before Ninmah. Her name was Damkina. Damkina was the daughter of the fugitive Alalu. The Queen had decided that Alalu should be made to feel still very much part of Anunnaki royalty even if he had been ousted so that he could do his best to still continue working in the best interests of the empire wherever he was.
Operationwise though, Enki too was to be based on planet Nibiru to assist Enlil in its administration in light of his legendary wisdom and brilliance. In every setting, Enki distinguished himself as of exceptional genius. There was nothing that he didn’t know, hence his other nickname as the “Knower of Everything”. He was a brilliant engineer, a brilliant geneticist, a brilliant physician, a brilliant physicist, a brilliant architect, a brilliant teacher-philosopher. But he had one major weakness: he was a serial philanderer. Enlil on the other had was very morally upstanding.
It says a lot about Anu’s political tact that the most senior princes were stationed well away from a place where it would be comparatively easier for any of the two to seize power. Paranoia was an integral trait of the reigning monarch in Sirius those days. Moreover, since Enki and Enlil would naturally not get along, the temptation for Enlil to break away from the Sirian and Orion Empire would be automatically checked by Enki. Thus a disgruntled Enki was more of an asset than a liability to Anu.
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