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BOPEU Congress Fires Mogwera

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Masego Mogwera PIC:KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Suspended Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) president, Masego Mogwera says she is shocked that the union leadership went ahead and fired her while court has ordered that activities be stopped until the finalisation of the matter.

This came after BOPEU congress on Saturday in Palapye took a decision to expel Mogwera from the union. Those who wanted her to be expelled were 134, those who were against the idea were 34 while 26 were neutral. BOPEU infightings started last year immediately after congress.

“I heard those rumours. To my understanding, the matter is still before the courts and it’s shocking that the leadership had gone behind the court to try to fire me,” Mogwera said.

“Court had ordered everything to be stopped until the issue is over. I do not think what they have done solves anything. They should just wait for court to pass judgement on the matter. Again BOPEU constitution is very clear: special congress is a continuation of last year’s congress. Our issue was not part of the agenda. Therefore, what they had done is illegal.”

She added that what the leadership could have done was to pass a motion of no confidence against her so that it dissolves the whole committee and calls for fresh election. Recently, Mogwera succeeded in interdicting the union leadership from conducting a disciplinary hearing against her.

Gaborone High Court Judge, Chris Gabanagae ruled Tuesday that the union leadership should not convene nor hold any disciplinary hearing against Mogwera pending the final determination of the case in which she is challenging her suspension.

Justice Gabanagae also awarded costs for the

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suit against the Respondents led by acting union president Olefile Monakwe, Modise Ramaretlwa, Zibani Philemon, Ogaufi Masame and Mosalagae Thako. Monakwe and some members of the Union’s National Executive Committee have had legal battles against Mogwera since they purportedly suspended her from the union and deposed her as the union’s investment arm, Babereki Investments’ director during a meeting held on April 27, 2019.

Justice Gabanagae stated that Mogwera is a properly elected president of BOPEU, as such has a clear right to set aside on review the proceedings of the meeting of April 27, 2019 that purportedly suspended her from the union.

The Judge also said Mogwera could not be faulted to believe that the investigations of a report that recommended a disciplinary hearing against her were meant to achieve a defined result carried out by a faction of the union, as it was presented by a certain Emmanuel Tlale, whom she had suspended in January 2019.

“The Applicant averred that it was inconceivable that a person who was subject of her suspension can be impartial in carrying out an investigation against her within such a short space of time. I agree with her on this point,” he said.

Judge Gabanagae further said it was doubtful that if the Commission that carried out the purported investigations against Mogwera and the disciplinary committee chaired by Monakwe would dispense justice fairly.



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