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Employees of the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security and their employer have taken a decision to settle their dispute out of court.

The parties this week reached an agreement to settle in respect of the issue regarding, amongst other things basic salary arrears, allowances and leave days as the government promised to pay all what the employees claimed against them. The two parties signed a settlement agreement before Lobatse High Court on May 18, 2018 to relinquish any rights of pursuing any civil suit against each other.

“In consideration of provisions agreed upon, the parties hereby waive, release and relinquish all their respective rights and interests and undertake that neither one of them shall henceforth bring, lodge or pursue any civil claim against the other on the same matter,” reads the agreement. The agreement follows a lawsuit that was instituted by the employees mostly who where promoted in various years but were never paid salary arrears and allowances.

The employees who were initially 18 in number, but the agreement only covers four for now, had challenged the government through a lawsuit in seeking payment in

salary arrears, scarce skill and overtime allowance respectively. They sought their payment to be paid and calculated according to the respective time periods on which they were promoted.

The employees are all employed under the Ministry as Scientific officers with some their promotion dating back to as far as 2012. In January 2018, the government took into account to end the matter and settle out of court by agreeing to pay the aggrieved employees.

In a letter dated January 31, 2018 addressed to the employees’ attorney Othusitse Mbeha, the employer showed keenness to end in the matter amicably.

“I hold instruction to settle the matter out of court in respect of salary arrears and allowances. In the terms of settlement, we propose are that your clients be paid the differences as per the following salary arrears, 40% scarce skill allowance and 15% overtime allowance,” reads part of the letter. In that instance the letter opened dialogue that resulted in this week’s settlement.




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