Barclays Bank Botswana and Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) have issued the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) with a letter of demand that the organisation should pay them an amount of over 700 000 pula as balance for loans of the 33 employees who recently lost their jobs due to termination of contracts by BNYC.
The BNYC had written letters to the two banks confirming that its recently dismissed employees were permanent and pensionable prior the loans application; BNYC knew the information was incorrect.
Had the two banks known about the contractual status of the employees, the two banks would have not approved the loans. It is understood that on Thursday Barclays bank met with some of the 33 employees to map the way forward concerning their loans while BSB wrote a letter of demand to BNYC for payment of the loan balances of some of the employees who lost their jobs with the youth council.
According to an audio tape passed to the Sunday Standard, the issue also surfaced at a meeting between the 33 employees and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Lewis Malikongwa recently. One of the 33 employee said, “there are issues of loans, some of the employees applied for loans, they were given letters that confirmed they were permanent and pensionable.”
Another employee wondered if “is it possible that people can be hired twice by one organisation? Either on contract and at the same time employed as permanent and pensionable? The employer wrote letters to the banks confirming that we were permanent and pensionable, we thought that was a promise that we will be absorbed or our contracts will be renewed.”
Yet another employee emphasized the issue of loans, saying, “we were expecting that this time we would be working, even our loans are for a specified time, time beyond the expiry date of our contracts which was done on the bases that we are permanent and pensionable.
This has given us an impression that we either going to be absorbed or our contracts will be renewed.”
“We have tried to engage our employer on the issue of loans but there are no results yet. We were able to obtain loans because our employer wrote to the banks that we were permanent and pensionable. I expected to be working at least for the next five years and the banks knew that in the next five years we would have paid the loans,” said another employee.
Malikongwa did not address the issue on loans as he insisted that the 33 employees have no contracts with the Ministry but with BNYC. Malikongwa also refused to allow the BNYC Executive Director, Benjamin Raletsatsi who was present at the meeting to explain the issue of loans and what transpired. However this publication contacted Raletsatsi to clarify the issue of loans.
Raletsatsi could only say; BNYC does not have a guarantee scheme with any Bank hence BNYC is not liable nor responsible for payment of loans of employees against any bank.” He added that “The contract with banks remains a responsibility for each individual employee hence loan contracts were signed between individuals and the banks BNYC’s responsibility at the instruction of the employees was to deduct money from source which BNYC honored until the employees were no longer in employment.”