Saturday, January 16, 2021

Former BTC director goes to court to reclaim job

Former Botswana Technology Centre acting Managing Director, Nick Ndaba was summoned by the board and told to resign without being given any reasons.
This has emerged in records at the Lobatse High Court where Ndaba is challenging his dismissal.

Doctor Pusoentsi, the lawyer representing Ndaba has filed an application in the Lobatse High Court asking for, among others, that his client be reinstated in the position he was in before the termination of his employment as his termination of employment was wrong and unlawful.
Pusoentsi also asked that Ndaba be paid all his salary arrears and benefits, including a 10 percent interest per annum and that BTC should pay the costs of the case.

Pusoentsi is expected to submit that his client was not, prior to the termination of his employment, afforded a hearing or given reasons for termination of his employment. Further to that, he is saying that his client was ostensibly called upon and for no discernible reason, was asked to make an immediate impromptu decision that would adversely affect him and that, in reality, an adverse and pre-mediated decision had already been made by BTC, irrespective of any input from his client.

Pusoentsi argues that his client was not dismissed for performance, misconduct, incapacity or retrenchment. He maintains that Ndaba was purportedly dismissed for undisclosed reasons in the interests of BTC and that, to date, his client does not know what such reasons are and was not given a chance to challenge them.
Further to that, as against the conditions of service , the lawyer argued that Ndaba was not given a right to appeal against the BTC decision and not paid in lieu of notice.

He said that although Ndaba had demanded reinstatement, the BTC lawyers had responded by stating that it was their view that his client’s dismissal was in accordance with the conditions of service of BTC.

Pusoentsi will also submit that BTC was contractually and lawfully obliged to afford his client a hearing and give reasons for termination of his employment and that the failure to do so renders his dismissal invalid and a nullity.

Further that his dismissal was unlawful and invalid because, in terms of conditions of service of BTC, acting appointments should not exceed 12 months and that if they do, the person acting should be appointed/confirmed to the substantive position.

He said that at the time of his dismissal, his client had acted in the position for 19 months as a Managing Director and will point out that the managing Director of BTC is appointed by Government of Botswana, and so it was only the government that can dismiss him.

He pointed out that his client was not dismissed by the government, as the conditions of service state, but by the board of BTC, which he said have no powers to do so. As a result of BTC’s unlawful acts, he says, he considers the termination of Ndaba’s employment invalid and that his client is willing to continue serving BTC.

Ndaba’s employment was terminated on the 31 of March, 2008.


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