The government of Botswana has slapped the National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union and the Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities Workers Union with a legal bill totaling P447, 935,10.
This follows after the Unions lost with costs a High Court case and abandoned an Appeal at the Court of Appeal in which they were seeking the review and setting aside of the Attorney General’s decision contained in Directive No 1 of 2009 dated March 2009 alterations of which were reportedly made to changes of salary structures that is applicable to local Government.
They further wanted the court to declare that the decision of the Attorney General to be of no force and effect and to be paid the costs of the suit.
On their submissions, the Unions lawyer, Tshiamo Rantao, had submitted that there was no prior hearing or consultation with Unions before the decision was reached to withdraw Directive No 11 of 2007. Decision to withdraw the Directive No 11 of 2007 was dictated by cabinet and finally that the decision of withdrawal has brought about unfair discrimination between the employees.
The Attorney General, represented by Gaborone private attorney Boingotlo Toteng, had opposed the suit and judge Onkemetse Tshosa had on 12 November , 2010 dismissed the application by the Unions on grounds that the application had no merits and they then appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Toteng this week confirmed that the Unions have been served with legal bills and that they were expecting payment. “I do confirm that we have served the two unions and we expect payment from them,” he said.
Meanwhile the Attorney General, who will be represented by another private lawyer, Parks Tafa, and some Unions in the country are preparing for a protracted legal tussle following the government’s decision to dismiss some of its employees who went on an illegal nationwide strike last year.