The Government has announced the setting up of a company for civil servants called the Botswana Public Officers Savings and Credit Cooperatives Society (LTD).
In a savingram dated February 6 addressed to government departments and copied to public service unions, the Director of Directorate of Public Service Management, Carter Morupisi, states that the first general meeting of the Society held on November 14 last year resolved that each member would hold a minimum of 500 shares in the Society as per the By-Laws of the Society.
“….we have attached a standard letter for members to complete authorising the Society to use their savings in the acquisition of the shares from the Society before they participate in the decision of the Society,” states the savingram.
Morupisi requested the members of the Society to complete the personal information form to update the Society and hand deliver it to DPSM or fax it.
The savingram appealed to Accounting Officers to assist in publicising the information extensively to all public officers including those who are not members of the society.
The savingram states that the public officers should address their application to acquire shares in the company to the manager of the company. The savingram states that civil servants should complete the form to authorise the Society to deduct P500 from his or her savings in order to acquire 500 shares from the Society.┬á The membership is required to hold at least a minimum of 500 shares in the Society.
Contacted for comment, Morupisi said he did not have sufficient details of the Society as he was not in the office and referred this publication to a Tayani who could not be reached at the time of going to press.
The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEOUSU) expressed shock at the establishment of the Society saying they were not consulted. BOFEPUSU Deputy Secretary General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, said civil servants should have been consulted and briefed on the financial statements of the Society if it was an existing entity.
“We were not consulted. That is something new. In order for a person to invest in a company he or she should be shown the financial statements of the company so that he or she can make an informed decision,” he said. Motshegwa said the fact that they were not consulted left them asking many unanswered questions.
He wondered why this time around government decided not to have the input of unions as representatives of workers.
“For instance we have representatives from union and the government in entities such as the Botswana Public Officers’ Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS),” he said.
Motshegwa added that it was surprising for government to set up such an entity while at the same time it was advocating for outsourcing.
The Unionist also questioned the motive behind the establishment of Botswana Public Officers Savings and Credit Cooperatives Society (LTD).