Job cuts kick off at BDP

The chickens of heavy spending in the 2014 general elections have come home to roost at the Botswana Democratic Party, with its Central Committee yesterday reportedly kicking off staff retrenchments

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) central committee met at the party’s headquarters yesterday to begin in earnest a retrenchment exercise, which will affect its 47 employees around the country. Sources privy to yesterday’s meeting said the names of at least five workers were presented to the committee for possible axing. It is understood that close to 20 employees are likely to lose their jobs by the end of the restructuring exercise. The BDP has 47 employees - 35 at its Tsholetsa House headquarters, and 12 in Francistown, Maun and Kang.

While BDP central committee meetings are held at the beginning of every month, the urgency of the matter saw it being held mid-month this time, sources said. At yesterday’s meeting, some workers who usually sit in central committee meetings were asked not to attend because part of the agenda was on retrenchment. “The central committee agreed that certain posts at Tsholetsa House are not important and should therefore be eliminated. Five people at the main office will receive their letters of termination this week.

“Some of the people who could be affected the most are drivers,” a source said.

It is understood the committee also agreed on a stepped approach to the retrenchment.

“The first stage will effect this month and the second one will affect some workers by the end of next month. We expect to have four or less employees in offices like Francistown, Maun and Kang. The agreement is that BDP needs more workers during election time only,” the source said.

Meanwhile, BDP secretary general Mpho Balopi refused to comment on the matter.

“Issues that are discussed during central committee meetings are internal. Added to that, we cannot discuss employer/employee issues with the media,” he said.

The BDP recorded a loss of P22 million last year, mainly as a result of heavy election year spending. The party warned its employees of the impending restructuring exercise on March 15, 2015. In the warning letter, Balopi informed employees that the restructuring exercise was due to organisational challenges, and was meant to revamp the party in order to make it more competitive.

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