Eight months after an order was issued, the Ministry of Health is still to carry out a High Court order issued by judge Isaac Lesetedi ordering them to pay Institute of Health Sciences lecturers overtime allowances as happens with other nurses.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Dorren Motshegwa, when asked to comment on the issue, could only say: “We are still trying to get answers to your questions on the matter.”
Lesetedi, in his judgment, said that the lecturers were entitled to the 30 percent allowances, which was introduced through Directive 18 of 1998 and was amended in 2001. He said that this was the case “because the nurses applicants were nurses like others working in hospitals and clinics”.
He further said that “the words ‘practicing nurses’ as used in Directive 18 of 1998 are clear and there is no reason why they should not be given their ordinary and grammatical meaning as no absurdity would be created by that”.
Over 100 lecturers around the country had approached the Court contending that they were also entitled to the allowances just like other nurses.
A lecturer in Gaborone, who declined to give her name for fear of victimization, said that they were surprised that they have not yet been paid allowances as ordered by a High Court judge eight months ago which she says is clear defiance of a Court order.
“If this is not defiance of a Court order by our Ministry then I do not know what defiance of a Court order is,” she said.
Another lecturer said that the fact that they have not been paid their allowances after all the months that have passed just shows that the MoH has no concern for her employees’ welfare.
“They denied us what was due to us; we took them to Court and won but still they do not want to carry out a Court order,” she said but refusing to be named. “It shows that they take no regard for us as their employees and see us as mere tools with no affections.”