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Congratulatory Message To Botswana Workers And The Entire Legal Team

Topius Marenga
The leadership of Botswana Public Employees Union and the rest of its membership would like to congratulate all the workers of this country and the National Amalgamated Local Government and Parastatal Workers Union (Manual Workers Union) on their recent victory at the courts of Law.

We further extend our congratulatory message to all the workers of Botswana as this was a case that began in unison with all trade unions during the then tenure of Cde Masego Mogwera at the helm of BOFEPUSU leadership as President and Comrade Andrew Motsamai as Secretary General.

Above all, we thank Manual Workers Union for pursuing this matter forward with the vigour, resilience and revolutionary spirit to advance not only separation of powers, but above all, to ensure that democratic dispensation is a reality.

This matter is not the first one where the workers have challenged the validity, constitutionality and legality of a Court Judge. BOPEU and Manual Workers Union jointly then took up the matter of the re-appointment of the then Judge Legwaila to the courts of law whereupon the workers became victorious with the removal of judge Legwaila from the Industrial Court and hence whereupon he was also subsequently appointed a High Court judge.

We also congratulate Comrade Tshiamo Rantao of Rantao Kewagamang Attorneys who at the first instance of this matter, agreed with us then that this is a matter that workers have a justifiable standing to pursue. It was a tough call, and through the assurance of Comrade Rantao of a near victory, we got inspired to pursue a journey to restore the dignity of our justice system. 

One needs to with a head high mention the relentless efforts of Comrade Mboki Chilisa who took up the challenge to finish a historic race that shall remain a victory that reminded all of us of a

need to earnestly fight for what is right in the interest of the future of our country. Comrade Mboki Chilisa and the entire legal team, we are proud of you.

The judgement in the matter between National Amalgamated Local Government and Parastatal Workers Union v The President of the Republic of Botswana and 10 others (Case No: MAHGB 000635-15) is a reminder to all of us that we need to jealously guard our democratic tenets as a country. We note, as Justice Tafa rightly stated, that it is not only important to maintain the independence of the judiciary but to ensure that all citizens of the country are beholden to the provisions of the constitution. Democracy thrives where the rule of law reigns supreme and all bodies stick to their constitutional limitations.

The victory by Manual Workers Union should be viewed as a victory to our democracy. It signals a commitment of our judiciary to perform its duties without fear and undue influence. While our constitutional establishment blurs the lines of separation of powers between the three arms of government, we should endeavor to protect those lines of delineation as established under our laws.

To that end we implore all workers, all Batswana and all leaders from all fronts of institutions within all the corners our country to take a leaf from the Manual Workers Union and indeed all the workers of this country, to jealousy guard our democracy through the availed peaceful means.

Yours in Struggle

Cde. Topias Marenga

General Secretary – BOPEU
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