The Monitor :: BMWU seek legal advice on BCL mine liquidation
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Last Updated
Wednesday 28 June 2017, 06:00 am.
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BMWU seek legal advice on BCL mine liquidation

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has told its members that they have engaged their lawyer to assist in mapping a way forward following the announcement of the BCL mine liquidation and cessation of operations.
By Imi Mokgethi Mon 10 Oct 2016, 18:04 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: BMWU seek legal advice on BCL mine liquidation








Addressing the union members immediately after the official announcement of the executive’s decision by a delegation of ministers comprising Kitso Mokaila, Vincent Seretse, Sadique Kebonang and Nonofo Molefhi on Saturday, BMWU safety coordinator Rex Tambula highlighted that seeking legal advice would enable all affected parties to have an insight of all the processes of liquidation as well as their fate. He added that it will also guide them in demanding an up-to-date retrenchment agreement with BCL mine should there be any retrenchments, noting that the current one has long expired in 2011.

“Some of our members are currently in Gaborone meeting with opposition party presidents Duma Boko and Dumelang Saleshando who will call for an emergency parliamentary meeting to further get clarification on the decision. The union’s chairman is currently in Brazil and upon his arrival that is when we will announce our next move,” he said.

Tambula further implored the workers to desist from outrageous behaviour, assuring them that the union will meet with the BCL management to get more details on the conditions of the liquidation.

Similarly, the union’s branch chairman Joseph Mlambani expressed disappointment in the delegation’s engagement with them Friday’s consultative meeting, highlighting that the ministers failed to answer their questions with regards to the impact of the liquidation on workers.

He further stated that they are unsatisfied with the decision, as it has left them in the dark about their future in the mine. Meanwhile, the union leaders accused the delegation of sidelining Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse as he was absent

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when the ministers delivered the liquidation news to miners.

The accusation comes on the backdrop of Minister of Transport and Communications,  Kitso Mokaila’s remarks that their efforts to meet with Keorapetse were unsuccessful as he was out of town upon their arrival.

When reached for comment, Keorapetse countered that Mokaila contacted him late Friday afternoon inviting him to attend their meeting at the mine, something he said came at a short notice.

“At that time, I was about to reach Gaborone from Selebi-Phikwe for a preparatory meeting of opposition cooperation talks on Saturday. The information came at a short notice and shows how the executive undermines Parliament,” he said.

In addition, he indicated that the mine’s management and the executive have kept details of the crisis a secret from MPs, adding that he is not surprised about how he was not engaged in the matter. Keorapetse also stated that he is still getting advice on what BCL liquidation really means for the workers, promising to release a statement thereafter.

“What I can say is that no matter what happens, the government has a duty to protect thousands of jobs at BCL and many other people who depend on the mine for their livelihoods. The legitimacy of any government rests on its ability to cater for its people and protect them against poverty and unemployment,” Keorapetse said.

He further said that lack of vision for the town in terms of diversification away from mining has finally caught up with the government, noting that consequently innocent people are made to suffer.

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