Monday, June 5, 2023

Infighting within Lutheran church delays brigade take-over

The two warring factions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Botswana and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa are delaying the government’s takeover of the Ramatea Brigade.
The takeover process has only four months left to be completed.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has given the church the last chance to decide whether or not the government should take over the Ramatea Brigade.

If government does not take it over, this will result in the government cutting off its resources to the institution.

On the other hand, the brigade staff is not certain of their future if the church refuses to hand over the institution.

Information passed to Sunday Standard suggests that the infighting between the two factions is delaying the negotiation between the government and the Lutheran Development Association of Botswana (LODABO), which runs the institution.

It is understood that the Ministry of Education proposed several meetings with LODABO which bore no fruit.

Ramatea staff may lose their jobs if the takeover fails because the church will not have enough money to pay the salaries.

“This is a very complex issue therefore I do not want to preempt anything because sometime this month we will have a meeting with the Ministry of Education over the issue,” said board chairman, Lacily Motse.

The spokesperson of LUDABO, Monamodi Mabille, said that they are still negotiating with the government and have not reached any agreement as yet.

He confirmed that sometime this month they will have a meeting with high ranking officials from the Ministry of Education to discuss the matter further.

“I am not sure how our meeting will end up like but we hope to resolve the issue amicably,” said Mabille, adding that Ramatea staff should not panic even if the school is not handed over to the government.

“The infighting within the church makes the exercise of takeover difficult,” said Molly Phuthego, the former principal of Ramatea Brigade. “I was fired from the school for nothing by one of the warring factions. I reported the matter to the Church Bishop and he offered to engage a lawyer for me but I declined the offer.”

Phutego said it would be unfortunate if LODABO declined to hand over the Brigade because “they will not be able to pay the staff and that will then lead to the collapse of the school”.


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