Mmegi Online :: Chamber of Mines ease financial problems
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Last Updated
Friday 22 February 2019, 14:15 pm.
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Chamber of Mines ease financial problems

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM), which has been experiencing financial challenges since 2017, recently reduced its debts after it paid former lecturers.
By Lebogang Mosikare Fri 08 Feb 2019, 12:59 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Chamber of Mines ease financial problems








The local mining chapter’s money woes started after some local mining houses ceased operations as a result of low commodity prices amongst other factors.

Through their subscriptions, the mining companies were BCM’s main source of income hence it was inevitable that the Chamber would somehow encounter monetary constraints in the aftermath of the closure of the mines.

The move forced some BMC lecturers at the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) to take their employer to the Francistown High Court on an urgent basis where they pleaded with the court to force the Chamber to pay their salaries.

The lecturers cited BCM, its chief executive officer, Charles Siwawa and chairperson, David Kgoboko as respondents in the matter respectively.

The lecturers-who were employed under varying fixed term contracts-wanted BCM to pay them close to P2 million in unpaid salaries effective from December 2017 to July 2018.

Justice Phadi Solomon ended up granting a consent order in favour of the applicants.

Recently, one ex-BCM lecturer told Mmegi they have been paid half of their unpaid salaries and a portion of their leave days.

The former lecturer expressed optimism that BCM would pay its employees all their remaining dues in the near future.

However, the lecturer was worried about the situation of students who were (and are still) under the sponsorship of BCM at the FCTVE.

The students got what they did not bargain for after the Chamber abruptly told them to stop attending lectures because of financial problems.

The students were about to complete their various programmes, but are now idling at their homes and uncertain

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about their future.

“We appreciate that BCM has now paid part of our dues and we hope that it will pay the balance in the near future. But as parents we are also very much worried about the future of our students,” said the source.

“We just pray that government will intervene and take the baton from BCM and sponsor the students. What the students are now going through is totally out of their control. This would prevent the learners from facing a bleak future since they have already wasted valuable time ever since they were sponsored by BCM.”

The ex-lecturer added: “I was talking to one of the students this week.

The student told me that they are particularly worried because they are not receiving any communication from BCM as to when the programmes are likely to resume.”

Meanwhile, in another development related to the former lecturers pay issues, Mmegi was also informed that two former BCM lecturers engaged Deputy Sheriffs to recoup their unpaid dues.

“I understand that after one of the lecturers engaged Deputy Sheriffs, BCM ended up paying because its bank accounts were frozen.

This forced BCM to pay because failure to do so meant that BCM could not also pay its workers who are based  at its headquarters last month since its bank accounts were frozen. I am however, not aware of the current situation of the other former lecturer,” said the source.

Quizzed about the latest developments, Siwawa confirmed the payments but briefly said: “Leave these issues to us. We are about to finish them.”

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