This time we address questions on the world of Lucifer
WHEN LUCIFER REBELLED, WHY DIDN’T GOD JUST DESTROY HIM? LOOK AT THE CHAOS HE HAS CAUSED AND PERSIST IN CAUSING.
Lucifer was not created by First Source: he was fashioned by the Paal Taal, the beings God created first. These are known as Creator Gods. Even as highly errant and fallible humans, we do not destroy our kids when they offend against us, do we? We’re all children of the Paal Taal, including the Devil and his demonic host, and since the Paal Taal themselves were created from the essence of God, we all have God’s energetic DNA.
Note that all Lucifer wanted was to exercise his free will, which is God’s desire for us all. The problem was that Lucifer decided to go this way with self-seeking motives, and anything that you do with a primarily self-centred bent is ungodly and is therefore at cross-purposes with God’s perfect will for his creation.
WILL LUCIFER EVER REPENT OF HIS WAYWARD WAYS AND THEREFORE BE RECONCILED WITH GOD?
In theory, he would never do so because first, he is overly consumed with a sense of pride. His ego is such that the idea of retracing his way back to First Source with cap in hand to seek forgiveness is simply inconceivable. Second, he fancies himself as perfect in wisdom and when you have such a mindset, you believe in the efficacy of whatever you set out to do.
But consider that God’s will for each one of us is to nurture us so that in the fullness of time we become like him – our own God with our own cosmic domain. And with God, nothing is impossible. So if God indeed ultimately has to have his way, then even the likes of Lucifer must one day see the error of their ways, make amends, and become forces of good. Bear in mind that ultimately good must triumph over evil and not the reverse.
HOW DOES LUCIFER LOOK LIKE? HE’S INVARIABLY DEPICTED AS BLACK OR DARKISH RED IN COLOUR.
I have never met him and has no wish to meet him. What I gather is that Lucifer has the capacity to appear in any form he chooses like and to be in several places at once. We all have this same capacity but as highly manipulated beings in this trap system we call the universe, we’re unable to express this capacity. According to ex-Satanists, one version of Lucifer has him looking just like we do but very huge, flawlessly beautiful, and albino-white. That is how he ordinarily looks like.
But he alters his appearance depending on the setting and the purpose of his showing. ERICA MUKISA is a Ugandan evangelist who was an agent of Satan for seven years. She has written a two-part volume titled Erica, Seven Years in Hell, published just this year. This is how she describes Lucifer in her first meeting with him. “In front of me was a big throne shaped like a pyramid and a very tall man in a black cape which was fastened at the neck and underneath he wore a red gown which flowed down to his feet.
His skin was pale white … He had horns on his head and his teeth looked like dog teeth. He had a moustache which looked more like cat whiskers and his fingernails looked like the claws of an eagle. They were very dark. His eyes were scary and a very strange evil power emanated from them, drawing me towards them. It was like someone could disappear in them. Between the horns on his head he was bald but behind the horns he had very long hair flowing down to his back. He had a tail which looked like that of a lion.”
WHERE EXACTLY IS LUCIFER BASED HERE ON EARTH?
He presides over a subterranean world under the seabed which he introduces as “Hell” to initiates. It is at once physical and metaphysical, with walls that can draw away from you as you approach them, as if they are sentient things. Like our surface world, Lucifer’s world is multifaceted. In some places, it is more sophisticated than even our most exotic places on the surface of Earth. In some areas, the environment is so oppressive as to be unbearable.
This is the Hell proper. Let us once again listen to Erica Mukisa: “Hell has industries where the latest entertainment, luxury, fashion and technology trends are being invented and exported into the world in order to distract mankind from following after Christ. The names of these companies and factories manufacture every name brand you’ve ever heard of and some you have never heard of. I saw a company which manufactures vehicles with the same logo as Mercedes Benz.
I saw different offices representing some of the media houses like CNN, BBC, Aljazeera, Hollywood film companies. I saw Walt Disney. I saw food manufacturing companies. I saw huge cities, with huge arcades and casinos, similar to the ones you see in Las Vegas Nevada. Many (not all) of the CEOs of these major international conglomerates are in bed with Satan. They’ve sold their souls through freemasonry and other religions and belief systems other than that of Christ. Satan gives them no rest.
This is why CEOs often sleep only two or three hours and wake up to go back to work. Satan is a cruel slave driver and a hard taskmaster. Do these companies which make billions of dollars every year really need to make more billions this year than last year? Is it really about the money? It’s not about the money. It’s about souls. Big industry is about enslavement.” As for the darker section of Hell, Erica has this to say: “There were also strange sounds like the constant banging and hammering of metals and doors in a workshop because everyone there is busy. There is no rest there. Nobody is idle.
This constant banging gave me continuous headaches. I was always sickly. No amount of pain killers could kill the pain. I was in continuous torment every day I served the Devil … We were always being beat up. Our heads were banged with metal sticks. Being bashed up against the wall was normal. Evil spirits would abuse us sexually. Even our male co-workers were abused sexually by either male or female spirits. We could see these spirits because we were also in the spiritual world. These spirits could change form and would sometimes appear as snakes or headless humans and sexually abuse us … There was a high mountain with very sharp stones they called a ‘rolling mountain’.
It is a mountain of torture. It is a spiritual mountain. When you set out to climb this mountain you find yourself at the top instantly. Then from the top you are pushed down to roll on the sharp stones that cut through the flesh. It feels like it takes forever to finally roll to the bottom as you scream in pain. There was also a field that had bushes which had thorns that would tear your flesh. Only people who were at a very high level of sorcery would pass through that field.
The main purpose of rolling down the mountain and passing through the field of thorns was to increase demon possession. As you scream in pain, more demons enter into you. As a result, the more demons one had, the more powerful they would become. The soil in hell is very hard and can only be compared to the soil in a desert wilderness. Even the evil spirits hate that place, which is why they resist as much when they are being cast out.”
HOW DO DEMONS LOOK LIKE?
Again, I have never encountered a demon and have no desire to. But like the Devil, demons too can shape-shift: they can appear like humans and very agreeably looking. At other times, they can look like the demons they really are. Erica Mukisa describes one such demon thus: “A very tall being that looked like the stem of a tree with rough skin like the bark of a tree. But instead of roots the tree had carved feet facing in opposite directions.”
In Rebecca Brown’s book titled He Came To Set The Captives Free, Elaine, who was a former high priestess of Lucifer, describes one manifestation of a demon in the following words: “He was in a physical form. He was huge, about 8 feet tall. He had a body much like a man, yet different. He was all black … He had fiery red eyes, huge hands, and his armour was really his skin. It was made up of thick, black, hard scales, something like a tortoise shell. Each scale was about six inches square.”
Another demon manifested differently to Elaine. “I saw what appeared like an incredibly handsome young man. He had coal-black hair and piercing black eyes that radiated intelligence … He then walked straight into me. But in the instant before he entered, he changed from the human form to the demon he really was – hideous. He was naked, his face had changed from beauty to hideous cruelty. The beautiful coal-black locks of hair had become dull brown and were coarse and sparse and stubby like pig bristles.
His eyes were incredibly dark and evil, his mouth open to show sharp dirty yellow fangs. He had very long arms, his hands had stubby fingers tipped with long sharply pointed nails. He uttered a horrible hideous loud laugh of triumph as he stepped directly into my body. I screamed out, first at the sight of him, then at the pain of his entrance.”
ARE PEOPLE WHO ENTER INTO LUCIFER’S SERVICE ALWAYS AWARE OF WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO?
Yes they are. But they are not given the full picture; only part. Much of the horror of signing up is made known to them after they have signed up. For example, most are shell-shocked when at some stage they are asked to kill a very close relation, such as a child, parent, sibling, or spouse. Erica Mukisa was ordered to sacrifice her younger brother, the soul she adored the most. She failed though as the little boy was very spiritual and so operated at a vibrational frequency dark forces could not reach.
She was severely punished by Lucifer for this failure though and was forced to kill an infant stranger to recompense for it. Gideon Mulenga, a former Satanist now a church minister, was ordered to kill his father. But such was his love for the man he decided instead to kill his step-mother, who was in the habit of treating him hostilely.
WHY DO CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS FAIL TO CURE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD A DEMONIC SPELL CAST UPON THEM?
When a witch/wizard/sorcerer casts a spell on, or bewitches somebody, the agent that effects the spell is a demon. Now, demons do not attack a particular part of the body directly: they attack an underlying part of the body which is not physical. For instance, if the witch is targeting your heart, the demon will attack the heart chakra and the pain will be felt in the physical heart. Chakras are etheric wheels of light that make our bodies function in the physical world.
No one knows exactly how many they are but there are seven principal ones, with the rest being sub-chakras. If any of your chakras is attacked, there’s nothing a doctor can do to cure you. In ancient times, demon-induced illnesses were cured by seasoned or veteran traditional healers. These healers of old used herbs which when taken or applied vibrated to the frequency of the chakra that spun beneath the affected part of the physical body. In other words, the healing was effected metaphysically, with the appropriate herb being of a frequency that corresponded with that of the chakra. Sadly, most of today’s herbalists are fake and rely on dark forces to inspire them to perform healing feats. And any healing that involves a demon cannot last because as Jesus said, Satan cannot cast out Satan.
HOW CAN ONE AVOID BEING A PROPERTY OF THE DEVIL?
There are actually two ways demons affect an individual. First, there’s outright possession. This is whereby you have demons dwelling inside you. These demons will from time to time cause you to do strange and even horrible things from time to time. One is occupied by demons if he or she willingly invited them (by performing certain Satanic rituals) or they were passed onto them at birth because of a contract their parent entered into with forces of darkness. Second, there’s what is called demonic attachment.
In this case, demons do not dwell in you but they hover about you. When this happens, hardly anything will go right in your life. To avoid both demonic possession and attachment, avoid or desist from the following – consulting witch doctors or fortune tellers; tattooing or piercing your body with some fancy rings; wearing “exotic” hair pieces; mixing regularly with people who serve forces of darkness; wearing clothing with symbols or images you do not understand; sleeping with women you do not know very well; watching porn movies or extreme horror movies; wearing ornaments whose origins you do not understand (such as a wedding band, for example); listening to music by Illuminati-affiliated musicians; and buying food items from suppliers you know very little about.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY AGENTS OF THE DEVIL?
By the way they dress; the kind of speech they utter; the kind of people they mix with; the hand gestures they make; their courtyard crests; the paraphernalia around them; and the symbols their attire is emblazoned with. Examples of the agents of the Devil include the Rothschilds; Benjamin Netanyau; British royalty; the Pope; practically every evangelist you watch on TV; witch doctors; all mega Western film actors, music artistes, and politicians. A tell-tale hand signal flashed by agents of the Devil, also known as the Illuminati, include 666; the El Diablo Devil’s Horns sign; the pyramid sign (Jay-Z’s favourite), to mention only a few.
WHICH FAMOUS AFRICAN MUSIC ARTISTES WOULD YOU IDENTIFY AS AVID SERVANTS OF THE DEVIL?
Almost all of them. Erica Mukisa furnishes one such clue in her book in the following words: “We were trained on how to trap people through the stage performances. My trainer in this was a popular South African musician by the name of Brenda Fassie. She has since died but was alive when she started training me. I have never been to South Africa but we always met in Hell.
She trained me on how to do dance exotically and how to dress seductively.” Now you will understand why Brenda’s death smacked of so much mystery. It was either she refused to make further human sacrifices to Lucifer (particularly her cherished son) or her number was up as per the terms of the contract she had signed with the Devil.
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY CELEBRITIES WHO SACRIFICED FAMILY MEMBERS/CLOSE FRIENDS TO THE DEVIL?
God, I know of plenty! But I will provide you only a partial list, with the sacrifice victim in brackets: Kanye West (his mother Donda); Lil Wayne (his step-father Reginald "Rabbit" McDonald,); Jay-Z (his nephew Colleek D. Luckie); Damon Dash (his famous girlfriend Aaliyah); Venus and Serena Williams (their sister Yetunde); Queen Latifah (her brother Lancelot); Mike Tyson (his 4-year-old daughter Lacelot); John Travolta ( his 16-year-old son Jet); Dr Dre (his protégé Nate Dog); Eminem (his friend Proof); 50 Cent (his friend Jam Master Jay); P Diddy (his protégé Big Smalls); Jennifer Hudson ( her mother, brother, and nephew). Note that to the ordinary man, some of these deaths may appear as perfectly natural or accidental when in truth they are occultic hits. Illuminati murders are typically very subtle.
IF PEOPLE WHO SAVE LUCIFER ARE HAVING A BLAST 24/7, THEN IT MUST BE WORTHWHILE SERVING HIM, ISN’T IT BEN? JUST LOOK AT JAY-Z, RIHANNA, AKON, AND THE LIKE. LET’S FACE IT BEN, IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM!
I wish you knew what you are talking about. Refer to Erica Mukisa’s testimony above just to glean an idea as to what it entails to serve the Devil. True, when you sell your soul to the Devil, he’ll likely give you wealth, women, power, influence, etc. Sadly, you will NEVER enjoy your possessions. When you are serving the Devil, you work like a slave – day and night. You do not rest at all. Erica says throughout the seven years she served Satan, she did not sleep for a “single minute”.
She was not allowed to eat conventional food like every other human does; instead, she fed on charcoal, ash, soil, and chalk, like a snake. Drinking water was forbidden: her water was human blood. Vicious beatings, by demons or Satan himself, were the order of the day. One pastor testified that fellow pastors who signed up with the Devil so their churches would grow and therefore bring them a surfeit of wealth had to fulfil a whole host of conditions, one of which was not to sleep with their wives but with a mermaid – a half snake, half human. It explains why the wives of “prosperity gospel” pastors are inwardly miserable and why divorce is so common in their case. Just ask the world-famous Pastor Chris and you will understand what I’m talking about.
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 email@example.com