Councillors across the country have petitioned the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Eric Molale over the outstanding six percent salary increment and back pays.
The civic leaders from different political parties want the Ministry to give them answers on when they will get their back pays, failing which they will take government to court. The Monitor has been reliably informed that the funds that were secured for councillors have been used to pay COVID-19 Scorpions in the different councils.
A petition submitted to the ministry dated April 20, 2021, reads: “Your office must take cognisance that it had been one year and one month without receiving these funds. We put it to you that the delay of this money had amounted to significant distress and damages in our lives. It is safe to submit to you that the fund in question is available and secured for us as per our legitimate expectations and understanding.
This letter serves to request your office to clarify as to when is your office intending to pay councillors the outstanding six percent increment and back pays. We verily trust this notice explains to you fairly well that this practice also gives birth or rise to several potential disputes, unfair
The councillors through the petition further say they believe the minister’s office will treat the matter with the attention it deserves. They gave the Ministry 14 days to have responded to the letter. President of Botswana Association of Local Authorities, Jeffrey Sibisibi confirmed that councillors have petitioned the local government minister.
“What I understand is that councillors want the minister to explain to them what happened with the increment they were expecting. I strongly believe that councillors are leaders who will easily understand if the minister were to talk to them,” he said. Councillors have been talking about the increment issue for a long time. I am aware of the petition and it is signed by councillors from all parties.”
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Masego Ramakgathi said: “Though I am not privy to the content of the said petition, I have every reason to believe that the Ministry leadership will look into issues raised and proffer advice and respond accordingly through various structures as it is norm.”