Sunday, October 25, 2020

Ministry of Education contests court order to pay UB students

Emotions ran high among University Of Botswana students after the Ministry Of Education (MoE)’s decision to appeal a court order by Lobatse High Court Justice Key Dingake.

The court order, handed down on July 22, required that the Ministry Of Education pay UB students their June-July living allowances amounting to P3840 on or before July 31.

The UB Student Representative Council Vice President, Nico Selobilwe, said their legal representatives, Kanjabanga & Associates, received the appeal notification on Monday.
On Wednesday, Justice Maruping Dibotelo heard the submissions of both parties but the case was postponed to the 12th of August.

Selobilwe said the MoE gave the excuse that if it were to heed the court order and pay the UB students their allowances the money would amount to 21 million, which they did not budget for.

He said despite willing to soldier on with the legal battle they have limitations of legal fees as they already owe Kanjabanga around P70 000. “Kanjabanga requested that we at least pay half of what we owe him by August 8th before they submit the answering affidavit to court, which is due on the 8th,” said Selobilwe, at the same time pleading with the student community and anyone who wishes to help to donate towards raising funds for the legal battle.

Nomsa Zuze, the Public Relations Officer in the MoE, forwarded calls from Sunday Standard to the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the MoE, Mr. Golekanye Setume, who was supposedly in a meeting the whole of Monday and Tuesday.
“Mr. Setume is the one handling that issue and the arrangement is that he alone can address any questions regarding it,” said Zuze.

A student who asked for anonymity said the MoE’s decision was politically motivated, saying the government just wanted to frustrate them.

“They just want to punish us because UB is believed to be the stronghold of the opposition.”

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