Saturday, September 25, 2021

Khama, Morupisi fail to respond to BOFEPUSU lawsuit

President Ian Khama and the Director of Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) Carter Morupisi had not responded to an urgent application brought by the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) served on state attorney on 7th April.  

BOFEPUSU had applied for a High Court order to restrain President Ian Khama and the Director of the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) Carter Morupisi from making pronouncements on public service salary negotiations.

By Monday, Principal State Counsel David Moloise told the High Court that he was yet to get instructions from Khama and Morupisi on how they should proceed as legal representatives of the two men. Therefore Moloise prayed with court that they be given sufficient time to consult Khama and Morupisi.

“We did not have the opportunity to consult with our principals; at least two weeks will be sufficient. It is unfortunate that we are entering the holidays and not sure whether the President and the DPSM Director will be available,” said Moloise.

 Initially Moloise took issue with the supplementary affidavit signed by BOFEPUSU President Masego Mogwera saying it was not properly before court.

The state’s bone of contention was that Mogwera’s supplementary affidavit was not properly commissioned by Commissioner of Oats, citing different dates on the supplementary affidavit.

“The court has no jurisdiction over the current affidavit before it because it is not in order. The applicants must bring a properly commissioned affidavit. The current affidavit should be struck out,” said Moloise.

But the attorney representing BOFEPUSU, Joseph Akoonyantse of Akoonyantse law firm told the court that considering the urgency of the matter there was no need to go back and re-commission the affidavit.

In the supplementary affidavit in question, Mogwera seeks an order declaring that the conduct of Khama and Morupisi, in implementing the unilateral 4% salary increment to members of BOFEPUSU constitutes breach of the duty to bargain in good faith;
She also sought an order restraining Khama and Morupisi from implementing the unilateral four percent salary increment to members of the applicant trade unions prior to the closure of the scheduled bargaining process.

Mogwera also sought an order restraining Khama and Morupisi, in implementing the unilateral 4 percent salary increment to non-unionised employees of the government undermines (comprising both managerial and non-managerial employees) violates the legislative role of the PSBC and constitutes breach of the duty to bargain in good faith; and Mogwera also prayed for an order restraining Khama and Morupisi from implementing the unilateral 4 percent salary increment to non-unionised employees of the government, employed in terms of the Public Service Act, prior to the closure of the scheduled bargaining process.

Justice Michael Leburu postponed the case to April 22.

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