Director at the Directorate of Public Service Management Carter Morupisi has told the Lobatse High Court that he could not sit helplessly as Unionists and Civil servants Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, Tobokani Rari and Ibo Kenosi intensified their partisan political campaign.
In a sworn court statement made in opposition to a case in which Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions(BOFEPUSU) has dragged government to court to interdict the recall of seconded Union officials, Morupisi has defended his decision by arguing it was necessary.
The public sector Unions have accused the DPSM director of being in contempt of court after the High Court ruled government should not discontinue secondment of Union officials.
According to the filed court papers the secretary generals of the three public sector Unions affiliated to BOFEPUSU have been defiant and made political statements on countless occasions despite the fact that there are civil servants.
Morupisi has denied contempt of Court charges levelled by the Union and argues the recall is different because Rari, Motshegwa and Kenosi have breached the Public Service Act which bares civil servants from active politics.
Although the issue has not been pleaded by the applicants, the High Court might have to grapple with which law applies when public servants engaged as Union officials speak on behalf of a Union.
Morupisi said that he could not just watch as Union officials remained defiant about their political activism.
He says that consultation with the Unions on the issue would have been useless. The Unions content that prior to the recall no hearing was extended to its most important office bearers.
“The applicants had always remained adamant that they cannot be denied the right to participate in politics as politics is a trade union right. The applicants conducted themselves with no regard to the ongoing consultations and there was no likelihood that they will alter their attitude,” states Morupisi.
Morupisi boast that he has radio tapes and Newspapers extract documenting political statements made by the Union leaders who also happen to be public officers. He says that the tapes should be played in open court as evidence. This is in response to the denial by Union officials that there have made political statements.
BOFEPUSU officials have been calling on workers to vote the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) out of power because government is indifferent about the plight of workers in Botswana.
Morupisi insists that Rari, Motshegwa and Kenosi should report for duty but meanwhile will be given some time to hand over to their colleagues.
The DPSM boss says that he wants the Union to prove that the recall will affect the day to day running of Union business. The Applicants lawyers Collins Chilisa Consultants are expected to file replying papers and the case will he heard on Tuesday.