Friday, July 1, 2022

DTC Branch Union officials expelled for opening secret account

The Botswana Diamond Workers Union (BDWU) has expelled two leaders of its Diamond Trading Company (DTCB) Branch committee after an internal enquiry revealed they had secretly opened an account with a bank other than that sanctioned by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

 Secretary General of the BDWU, Jacob Mpasopi, was tight-lipped regarding the specific reasons behind the expulsion of Kabelo Kelepile and Mogae Motshubi, who hold positions of Chairperson and Secretary of the Branch, respectively.

“I can only confirm, though, that the duo is in breach of the Union Constitution and discipline,” posited Mpasopi.

When probed further, Mpasopi maintained that the matter remained an internal one, especially considering that those expelled still have it within their ambit to appeal to the Congress, which he pointed out was due next weekend (13-14 April).

Information unearthed by The Sunday Standard has indicated that, in fact, the NEC of the BDWU, owing to an accidentally lost statement, managed to discover that their DTCB branch had opened an account with one  bank (name of the bank withheld) not authorized by the Union.

Upon this discovery, the NEC then carried out an investigation that ultimately revealed that both Kelepile and Motshubi appeared in the bank documents as signatories, whence the decision of the NEC to terminate the membership of the two branch officials.

The two expelled Branch officials seemed to play down the effect of the NEC decision as they claimed to have heard of the disciplinary action meted on them only through the grapevine than through any official notification.

“As far as we are concerned that so-called disciplinary measure is of no consequence to us or the DTCB branch, because besides the fact that we are still to be informed, the only account we have been privy to was resolved on by the Branch general membership after thorough reflection on what obtained regarding the BDWU finances in general,” responded Kelepile.

However, Kelepile would not deny that it has always been the prerogative of the NEC, particularly the National Treasurer, to open bank accounts for branches.

“The DTCB branch resolved after serious anomalies raised by a financial statement issued at last year’s General Council for the year 2011, that subscriptions would no longer be relayed to the NEC, of which I as the Branch chairperson I share responsibility,” quipped Kelepile.

Even though an attempt was made to solicit Motshubi’s version of events, Kelepile had intimated to this reporter that it had been agreed among the two of them that he speaks on behalf of the two “expelled” officials.

Meanwhile, Sunday Standard has learnt on authority that the NEC has already sought legal counsel with a view to determining the prospects of success for interdicting the DTCB to return all the funds it believes are due to it, if necessary.

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