The Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) acting president Olefile Fast Monakwe’s family is set for a windfall of P720,636 as compensation to his wife, Kedisaletse.
This follows after the recently suspended BOPEU president Masego Mogwera had resisted entertaining "silly, ridiculous amounts" claimed made by Monakwe’s wife, who is employed in one of the union departments.
Over P720,000 in claims were made not long after Kedisaletse’s husband had returned to BOPEU victorious as first deputy president from the December Kasane Congress.
As head of the collective bargaining and organising unit, Kedisaletse directly works under the first deputy president (her husband), whose portfolio is collective bargaining.
On Valentine’s Day this year, two months from the congress that ushered in Monakwe as first deputy president at BOPEU, the wife filed with the courts to intently sue BOPEU for what she considers full cost of her course in Turin, Italy.
According to documents she provided before the Courts, the course ran for four months, precisely from January 23 to April 14, 2017, at the ILO training centre.
Interestingly, the matter had appeared dead and buried by July 2018 after BOPEU had offered to only partially reimburse her P70, 000 for tuition and participation costs, citing budgetary constraints and the fact that they had not sanctioned her training. The amount was paid into her bank account, according to court papers seen by Mmegi.
However, after the Kasane Congress, Monakwe’s wife rekindled her demands and filed the matter with the courts of law, this time, adding a 10% annual interest demand from April 2017 to the date of payment, taking her claim from just over P540,000 to a sum of over P720,000.
The recently suspended BOPEU president, Mogwera dug in her
In the aftermath of the coup that has since seen Mogwera locked out of BOPEU offices, the suspended president told Mmegi that the issue of the more than P720,000 claim by Monakwe’s wife was one of the burning issues that she bitterly resisted and ultimately led to her being toppled.
“I was under pressure to take back BOPEU’s defence against (Kedisaletse) Monakwe from the courts after I had opposed her demands and indicated to the courts that I will vehemently oppose the P720,000 lawsuit against BOPEU by Monakwe, because it is a silly, ridiculous amount intended to loot the union,” Mogwera said.
She showed Mmegi the opposing papers that she had signed against Monakwe’s wife’s financial claims.
The claims include P333,699, being meal allowance for 82 days. On average that would have meant that Monakwe’s wife spent more than P100,000 on meals alone in a month, during the entire three-month’s stay in Turin.
Another claim emanates from the cost of a car, put as P152,466, and described as the current value of the vehicle, in the claim that was filed with the courts.
The same vehicle is also said to have cost P38,600 in maintenance during her stay in Italy. In her claim, the acting president’s wife has also put in P6,954 as travel expenses, P97, 005.30 as tuition fees, all coming to P541,424.60, before she added a punitive 10% per annum from April 2017, which shot up to P720,636.