Gaborone High Court Judge Zein Kebonang yesterday deflated challengers, Kaboyaone Rash Sedimo and Philemone Zibane, who wanted to be recognised as general secretary and deputy general secretary at Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU).
Justice Kebonang ruled in favour of Topias Marenga and Kethapeleng Karabo, who were recently restored to their posts by several high court judgements including the Court of Appeal.
It was Justice Kebonang whose interim orders in favor of the Sedimo and Zibane faction during the fight for control of the Standard chartered Bank account that seemed to create two centres of power. The decision allowed Sedimo and company to transact for BOPEU using the Standard Chartered Bank account. The same judge yesterday took a completely different view and decided that the matter of who is in control of BOPEU had long been concluded by various high courts judgements and the Court of Appeal and therefore, remains final.
In particular, Justice Kebonang told the challengers (Sedimo and Zibane) who wanted to stop Marenga and Karabo from conducting themselves as general and deputy of BOPEU, that they do not have the locus standi to bring the proceedings before the courts in the name of BOPEU, since only the union president, in this case Masego Mogwera, can institute proceedings on behalf of BOPEU.
Zibane and Sedimo had filed two applications one seeking to declare that Marenga and Karabo were not employees of BOPEU and the other application being for contempt of court and for imprisonment of Marenga, both collapsed.
Meanwhile, last week, BOPEU, through union president Mogwera and general secretary Marenga successfully halted a round robin national executive committee meeting that the rival faction was intending to hold in Gaborone in defiance of the president and the general secretary.
Further Mogwera and Marenga successfully interdicted Sedimo from conducting himself as general secretary of BOPEU, and that the parties who are in law recognised as office bearers of BOPEU are as set out in the notice issued by the Registrar of Trade Unions and dated the 12th May 2021.
Further Justice Ketlogetswe of Lobatse High Court restrained Sedimo from obstructing any official of BOPEU as recognised in terms of section 26 of the Trade Unions and Employers Organizations Act, from performing their functions as such, including but not limited to access to the BOPEU offices and related matters.