Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Council employees clash with Francistown city clerk

Employees at Francistown City Council (FCC) have accused City Clerk Lebuile Israel of maladministration, corruption and unfair dismissals. The council employees have engaged the Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLAHWU) to represent them as they take the City Clerk head-on amid allegations of unfair labour practices, corruption and abuse of processes. They were reportedly not amused by the recent dismissal of some of their colleagues by Israel.

“Things have not been going well ever since he arrived and we feel the situation is deteriorating rapidly. As employees we have a lot of grievances and disputes regarding unfair promotions, non attendance to employee concerns and arbitrary dismissals of employees,” said one of the employees who preferred anonymity.

Staff morale at FCC is said to be at all time lows as employees are disgruntled with the City Clerk’s management style. The employees also revealed how Israel repeatedly boasts about his close relationship with high ranking government officials.

“At one point he told us that there was nothing that we could do to him as he is close to very powerful people,” they said.

Even councillors at FCC are reportedly unhappy with the City Clerk, as they doubt his administration skills and his ability to vigorously drive Francistown’s development agenda. Efforts to reach Israel were unsuccessful as his phone rang unanswered the whole week. However, FCC Principal Public Relations Officer, Joseph Wasubera denied any knowledge of employees disgruntlement with the City Clerk.

“What I know is that a number of city council employees were called for disciplinary hearing because they violated some of the job regulations. If an employee violates job regulations, they need to be called for discipline. The City Clerk would be the right person to answer to the allegations raised against him,” he said.

Reached for comment, the Chairperson of BLLAHWU in the North Region, Tshekatsheko Lekang confirmed that they have registered complaints about the City Clerk from some FCC employees.

“We have forwarded a letter detailing the employees’ grievances to the Secretary General of BLAHWU. It turns out that both parties will go for mediation on June 15,” he said.

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