Saturday, May 28, 2022

Government officials’ disregard of law worries lawyer

David Ditiro, the Francistown lawyer who is representing 105 Institute of Health Sciences lecturers in a case they are demanding to be paid overtime allowances they are owed by government, has expressed concern at what he terms ‘disregard of law’ by government employees.

This follows after the 14 days the government had set for itself to have paid all the affected lecturers in the last court appearance had elapsed without the payments having been made.

“I am really concerned by this failure to pay by the government; it is a clear case of disregard of law and it is a cause for great concern,” he said.

He said that what causes great concern about this failure is that it is the government which had asked the Court to give them 14 days in which to comply with the order.

“One would then have thought that they would comply within the days they have set to do the job themselves,” he said.

The total amount owed the lecturers is around P11 million.

On what step he is taking after the latest development, Ditiro said that he is going to meet his clients within this week to discuss what to do next and is not ruling out the possibility of once more going to Court to seek that responsible officers be held for contempt of Court.

A lecturer, who declined to be named in Francistown, confirmed that they had not been paid what they are owed by the government up to now, which she says is very discouraging.

“I can see us going to Court once more and it puzzles me that our government can behave the way she is doing in this matter,” she said.

Government had, before the lecturers took her to Court, been reluctant to pay them overtime allowances paid to nurses working in hospitals and clinics on the basis that they are no longer nurses but lectures but a court ruled in their favour ordering that they should be paid overtime allowances like other nurses.

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