Two Botswana Defence Force (BDF) officers who were fired from the army for barracks romance are suing for unlawful dismissal In a landmark case, Second Lieutenant, Thabang Thapisang and her junior partner junior, Kozondu Uariua have taken the BDF to court after they were dismissed for having a romantic relationship. Thapisang, is one of the first female officers in the BDF and the first woman to be fired from the army.
Second Lt Tlhapisang confirmed to the Sunday Standard that she was dismissed from the army seven months ago after it was discovered that she was dating a junior officer.
“It has been a bumpy road for me since I lost my job and I will do whatever it takes to be reinstated. I love my country and I was proud to wear its uniform. A while ago I met Uariua and we started dating. We currently have a daughter whom we are raising together,” she said.
She explained that she met Uariua in Maun before joining the army and the affair continued until she completed her training.
“My life changed completely after some BDF officers discovered that I was dating my junior. Some senior officers told me that they will make sure that I am dismissed because ke jesa dijo tsa barena.”
“I am optimistic that I will be reinstated and continue to serve my country diligently”.
Uariua says he was detained for forty-five days before his dismissal. He told the Sunday Standard that if they win the case and are reinstated, he will quit the army to further his studies and allow Tlhapisang to continue serving in the army. “I strongly believe that BDF will not deny her opportunities such as promotion and further training.” Sunday Standard also spoke to Tlhapisang’s father who said, he was worried that DISS agents have put her daughter under surveillance. “Should anything happen to her, I will blame the DISS.”