Saturday, January 22, 2022

Union Probe Continues

Sometime early this year, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batsu instructed the law enforcement agency to launch intense investigations relating to compliance by trade unions.

The Criminal Investigations Department CID was assigned this task. So far, about ten trade unions have already been investigated.

Apparently, investigators are faced with a challenge of locating close to five unions that and this has resulted in the delay of investigations.

Information passed to Sunday Standard suggests that police have so far gathered overwhelming evidence that may lead to some of the trade unions appearing before the courts of law to explain their expenditure.

It is understood that some trade union have no records that reflect how funds were used in the daily operations of the union.

When contacted for comment, Minister Batsu stated that he has not yet received the report from the police who are assigned to investigate the matter as yet neither can he specifically state when the report on the matter will be submitted office.

He said he cannot pre-empt what will be the outcome of the report and what will happen after the report has been handed to him.

Deputy Director of CID, Detective Tsweneetsile revealed that since they resumed their investigations they have so far investigated only ten trade unions.

“If mind serves me well about fifteen trade unions have to be investigated but there are some challenges in our investigations as we find it hard to trace the where abouts of five trade unions.” he stated.

He said he is not in a position to disclose the kind of evidence they have gathered from unions that have already been questioned.

He stated that in nature, investigations have their own challenges therefore he would categorically state when all details regarding the other five unions will be gathered and the report on them be submitted.

He however stated that once they have completed investigations; the report will be handed to the minister who assigned the police to investigate on his behalf.

He said he is optimistic that they will trace and find out where the other unions.

General Secretary of Botswana Federation of Trade Union Gadzane Mhotsha said when contacted for comment that “yes it is true that police investigations came to us and asked for basic information”.

He said since then the police have never made any follow up.

Meanwhile some unions revealed to the publication that they were being probed.

These include among others Botswana Mine Workers Union, Botswana Manual Workers Union as well as Botswana Railways Amalgamated Workers Union just to mention a few.

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