The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) is under scrutiny following allegations of sexual harassment made by the staff against management.
The LSB management was forced to conduct investigations when numerous complaints by staff members were recorded, one senior staff member told Mmegi.
In a report by LSB council themed investigations, it indicates that staff members Mpho Rammai and Boago Selerio reported sexual harassment advances.
According to the report, Rammai alleged she was sexually harassed at the office.
In a letter dated February 9, 2018, Rammai lodged a complaint of sexual harassment that she has been subjected to and has been ongoing since around, on or about 2016.
“Few of staff members of the LSB know about this sexual harassment, as I am the secretary to the [name withheld] as such it became more difficult for me to report this because I felt it will in a way leave me without a job should I bring it out or report it.
I am not after jeopardising anyone’s life in anyway, but I need this to stop as it is making me rather very uncomfortable in and around him and other staff members,” reads the letter.
In another letter written by Selerio dated February 9, 2018 to the LBS council, she mentioned that another superior also sexually harassed her.
She wrote that the first three months between September and December 2016 when she joined the society he made uncomfortable comments about her body of which she chose to ignore.
She narrated that after he threatened her with job loss and mistreating her by giving her job to a security officer, she reported the matter to the legal officer who immediately called the executive secretary.
“The ES [Executive Secretary] did not investigate this despite that he was aware of what has happened and this matter remains unresolved. Ever since then he has changed his attitude towards me and this has affected our work relations. There is no communication nor cooperation between us and it is difficult to work,” she wrote.
The allegations against the two, LSB said they are serious and proposed a more detailed report from the complainant to be filed. The recommendation also suggested that during the investigation period the two should be suspended, be given an opportunity to read the complaint and respond the same.
“In the event disciplinary proceedings are instituted, then we propose that a panel of three persons who do not sit on the council or any other LSB structures be appointed to chair the disciplinary hearing,” read the report.
More allegations against LSB management include lack of communication, misuse of LSB assets and lack of clarity on roles and job descriptions, applicability of overtime pay, job descriptions and lack of salary increment since 2014.
LSB met a group of four employees who appeared were part of the group complaining about management amongst them Keikantse Phele, Selerio, Landy Sebitla and Rammai.
Following questioning of the said employees, the LSB reported that there was generally no communication from management about activities of the society
In respect to misuse of LSB assets, there were issues of other staff members not being held accountable for their actions and favouritism.
A certain Tebo More was mentioned as not being held accountable and favoured in respect that she allegedly used an official vehicle that was involved in an accident and has allegedly not yet produced proof of payment for the repairs.
Still on More, there were favouritism issues raised, some form of favouritism, as there was evidence of garnishee orders issued against her and that failed to honour them despite constant reminder by attorneys representing the judgement creditors.
LSB, in its repor,t said they take the complaints seriously and have made recommendations regarding each case to address the issues within their society. Mmegi could not reach accused persons.