Botswana Red Cross Society president resigns

Botswana Red Cross Headquarters PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Botswana Red Cross Headquarters PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The president of Botswana Red Cross Society, Motlamorago Gaseitsewe has resigned from his position, Mmegi has learnt. Recently, the Botswana Red Cross has been under controversy over the fight for the control of the society.

Gaseitsewe resigned from his position on September 20, 2021. The Gaborone High Court recently interdicted the Society from holding its elections for president and two vice presidents. This was after president and vice president hopefuls, Maipelo Mophuting and Nelson Rammala respectively approached the court on urgency as the Society attempted to hold an elective Annual General Assembly (AGA) excluding them. The society’s secretary-general, Kutlwano Mukokomani confirmed that indeed the president has resigned and Odirile Itumeleng is the one acting as a president. Itumeleng has been the advisor of the Botswana Red Cross Society. “He resigned because he does not want to be conflicted on the matter of having to solve some issues that will end up implicating him.

Yes, he will be contesting for the presidency after the High Court issue is resolved. The dates for AGA are not yet out because of the court case. He cannot be seen to be presiding over issues when he will be contesting,” Mukokomani said in an interview on Wednesday. He said the date for AGA will be decided when the court has delivered its judgment over the case that is still before it. However, some of Mophuting's supporters said they are shocked by the new developments and also that the other vice president had resigned. “We understand that there is new membership which had been given to certain members who support Gaseitsewe. And that the motion of no confidence was passed on some of the members especially those who support Mophuting,” the source said. On January 30, 2021, Mophuting and Rammala were granted an order to interdict the Society’s election for the three positions on the AGA agenda until the matter is finalised.

The society, through Mukokomani, had disqualified the duo questioning their membership standing. They were ordered to apply for a review or other relief no later than seven court days from the date of the order. The two parties would, however, fail to resolve the matter amicably. On May 17, the society’s secretary-general Mukokomani wrote a letter inviting members to the AGA slated for June 18, 2021. Through the invitation, Mukokomani stated that nominees for president and deputy presidents remain as they were shared before. This meant Mophuting and Rammala would yet again not be allowed to contest elections. The duo then through Craig Law Consultants approached the court on urgency calling on the court to interdict while Mukokomani and the society who are respondents in the matter opposed the applications through Akoonyatse Attorneys arguing that the duo was not qualified to stand for elections. Delivering the last part of the ruling which he said he was yet to prove, Justice Chris Gabanagae granted the urgent application and interdicted the elections which were to be held in four days.

He directed the respondents to nominate and communicate their choice of arbitrator in seven days and the elections stay until the final determination of the arbitration. Recently, former chairperson of Selebi-Phikwe branch committee, Ester Selema had said that they are engaging an attorney on their matter since the alleged new Selebi-Phikwe committee is illegitimate. Speaking to Mmegi recently, Selema said their committee is not yet dissolved and the meeting, in which,“our committee was not informed and the members who are said to be in that meeting are not Botswana Red Cross members. Again, one cannot dissolve a committee without notifying it and the secretariat decided to accept the committee without even checking if the constitution was followed. It is clear that the secretariat has taken sides on these issues and elections."

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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