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Unshaken Monakwe Insists Ousted Mogwera Expelled

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Odirile Monakwe PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) faction’s leadership recently stripped of legitimacy has since said rival Masego Mogwera remains expelled from the union despite court declaration her initial suspension was unlawful.

The High Court on Friday delivered a judgement in which, amongst other things, it declared that the April 27, 2019 decision to suspend Mogwera as president pending disciplinary action was unlawful and set it aside.

It also declared as null and void the proceedings of the same National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

Following her suspension, Mogwera launched an application seeking the court to overturn it. However, she was later on expelled from the union on December 1, 2019, during a special congress held in Palapye.

Mogwera then launched an application challenging her expulsion from the union. The case is still pending before court.

Now, Mogwera’s rival and incumbent president Olefile Monakwe has said that despite the Friday judgement, the special congress’ decision to expel Mogwera still stands until and unless it is set aside by a court of law.

“The judgement of the Honourable Court delivered on Friday had no bearing on the said NEC decision, which decision still stands. Article 12.1.4 of the BOPEU Constitution reserves the right to hold any office of BOPEU, including the presidency, to members of BOPEU,” Monakwe said.

As for the union’s secretary-general, Topias Marenga, he has never challenged the termination of his contract in any court of law, and so it remains valid.

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According to Monakwe, delegates at the special congress in December 2019 confirmed him as the president of union, while also resolving to instruct the NEC to appoint Kaboyaone Sedimo as secretary-general on a permanent capacity. He said the NEC of BOPEU appointed by the union’s highest structure remains as it is, because the Friday judgement has no bearing on how it is currently constituted.

When reacting to Monakwe’s remarks, Mogwera said the current BOPEU leadership is in denial.

“When people are crazy like they are, they would say things that they want to hear. I hear that they want to appeal the judgement on urgency. If they believe the judgement has no bearing on the decisions, then why are they appealing?”

Mogwera said she would be happy if they appeal the court’s decision so that the Court of Appeal could also set the record straight and clear any confusion.

Monakwe’s faction has been tussling with Mogwera’s camp over the control of the union since 2019, a conflict punctuated by litigations.

Mogwera’s secondment expired in May of this year. Asked how she is going to tackle her job and the ministry and serving as BOPEU president, she said she will attend to her work at BOPEU after hours.



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