Three former employees of HIFI Corporation Botswana are accusing their former bosses for poor management of the store which has led to their unfair dismissal.
The trio is part of a group that was found guilty and dismissed at an internal hearing after one of the cashiers was caught red handed on CCTV, making unauthorised transactions in the popular electrical store.
The basis of their dismissal is breach of security policy, dishonesty and breach of refunds, upgrades and exchange policy over a period of nine months. They have opened a case before the Francistown Industrial Court for unfair dismissal.
The matter is to go to trial before Judge Justice Christian Diwanga on the May31, 2017. The three are members of the Cashiers, Shop Assistants and Allied Workers Union (CASAWU), and are represented by the industrial relations manager, Mpho Chingapane.
Speaking to the National Organising Secretary of CASAWU, Dimpho Nyambe said he believes this case is one of personal vendetta as it looks like it was a witch hunt to dismiss these three particular individuals out of the seven. “Our mandate as a union is to make sure that HIFI Corporation is accountable for their actions and to give clarity on what their basis of dismissal is, as well as to re-instate the dismissed employees,” he said.
It is reported that on the September 17 one of the cashiers at Hifi Corp, Gofaone Madisa, was caught red handed embezzling money from the store. The lady is said to have been pretending to give customers refunds only to pocket the money herself using the identification and the password of her supervisor who was on maternity leave at the time. Speaking to one of the fired employees, who insisted on concealing her name for safety reasons, said the situation took place on her day off. “When I came back to work the following day, the assistant branch manager, Prissily Dikomoki, summoned me to his office and told me of the incident that had taken place during my absence. I was later surprised when management told us that we were under investigation and would be called one by one for questioning and to give separate statements. All the cashiers were called as the girl who was caught stealing implicated us and said we do the same thing all the time,” she said.
She explained that using the woman on maternity leave’s password was a norm and that even the branch manager knew about this and had in fact given her other passwords to use in his absence so not to delay customers. She said they did this for months and would account for it at the end of every working day where she would sign the reports of refunds, print them and attach to give to the branch manager, Modiri Botsang, who would in turn sign them.
“I was personally assigned to fill in the post for the girl on maternity leave for a period of three months; I had access to her password and used it as a norm, even when she returned I continued to work with her and help her settle into the job again as the system had changed. When I asked the branch manager if I was going back to my old job of being a cashier, he verbally told me that I would be assigned a higher post and should continue assisting the lady doing administrative work,” she said. She said this is why the summons came as a shock to her. She said all she wants now is to be compensated for the salary she lost while sitting at home because of unfair dismissal and to be re-instated back to work.