About eight personal secretaries for judges of the Industrial Courts both in Gaborone and Francistown have been fired under mysterious circumstances.
It is reported that the eight secretaries, two from Francistown and six from Gaborone were informed that they would be transferred to other departments but most of them have been turned down by government departments as they could not absorb them.
In an interview, Industrial Court spokesperson Idah Seoforeng said the personal secretaries in question have not been fired but have instead been transferred to different government ministries and departments.
She explained that initially Industrial Court reporters had complained about the Industrial Court structure, that it doesn’t serve them well.
Seoforeng said during the mediation process at the District of Labour Office, the abnormality was noted and it was decided that the Judge’s Chamber should be served by two Court Reporters per a Judge as opposed to the practice of also having a secretary for the same Judge.
She stated that sometime back a benchmarking exercise was also conducted at High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Seoforeng further stated that this then prompted the employer, DPSM to transfer the secretaries to departments and ministries where secretary services are provided.
She mentioned that about eight secretaries are affected; excluding the Judge President’s secretary where the secretary services is needed and provided for by the employer.
Seforeng indicated that court proceedings will not be affected at all instead it will speed up the process of delivering justice to the public because there will be two court reporters per Judge, while one court reporter is in court and other will be in office typing judgments, court orders and rulings.
“The public should understand that records of proceedings were not part of the secretarial duties. This outcome will result in speedy disposable of justice to our litigants because Judgments, court rulings, record of proceedings, and court orders will be delivered on reasonable time, unlike before where our litigants had to wait longer to get service under one court reporter who is always in court,” she said.
She added that” this also affected court reporters as they couldn’t apply for leave due to the fact that they were always in court, and have to work on court proceedings during court recess.”