Judgement on the control of BOPEU'S bank account this morning


Justice Zein Kebonang of the Broadhurst High court will issue a ruling on the request by Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) president Masego Mogwera and general secretary Topias Marenga to be joined in the application for the control of the Standard Chartered Bank account launched by her rivals two weeks ago, ex parte.

Mogwera and Marenga approached Justice Kebonang for joinder less than 12 hours after the same judge had given the Monakwe’s, appearing as BOPEU, and without citing other interested parties especially Mogwera and Marenga, in the same application.

When Mogwera sought to stop the interim order arguing that it was fraudulently secured by the other party, Justice Kebonang let the interim order run, arguing that he didn’t have the papers, except a notice of motion, on which to withdraw his interim order.

The BOPEU account holder, Standard Chartered Bank that does not want to deal with signatories that are not recognised by the law, is also opposing the interim order, which will operate until July. Attorney Busang Manewe argues for the bank.

Meanwhile, there was a twist in the BOPEU saga when the two parties met before Justice Kebonang on Friday last week as the Monakwe faction filed a new application seeking to remove Marenga and Kethapeleng Karabo  (the general secretary and his deputy) from the Registrar of Trade Unions. 

On Friday, Phillemon Zibane, Rash Sedimo, and Olefile Monakwe filed a fresh application calling themselves BOPEU,  and seeking the removal of Marenga and his deputy Kethapeleng Karabo from the Registrar of Trade Unions.

Buoyed by the High Court ruling of Justice Mercy Garekwe and the most recent Court of Appeal ruling, Mogwera, Marenga, and Karabo are firmly back in control of BOPEU, but Sedimo and Zibane who had been the general secretary and deputy general secretary respectively, have approached Justice Kebonang seeking their reinstatement.

Interestingly, in the latest application, the defiant faction do not recognise Mogwera as the president, but only refer to her as  “a certain Masego Mogwera “, whom they blame for putting Marenga and Karabo in their previous positions.

Curiously, Mogwera who is BOPEU president is not cited in the papers as a respondent either, except Marenga and Karabo, while other respondents are the bank, the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Attorney General.

Monakwe is not an applicant but he deposed an affidavit confirming Sedimo and Zibane as the rightful office bearers while dismissing Marenga and Karabo.

According to their papers, the application was brought by BOPEU after a meeting of the NEC gave them the go ahead. However, as to who would have called the meeting of the NEC is yet unclear as the two parties meet again this morning before Justice Kebonang.

The filing of the new application directly to a particular judge left Mogwera and Marenga's attorney Dutch Leburu dismayed, saying it is akin to forum shopping, as this is a completely new matter.

Gabriel Kanjabanga acting for BOPEU, the mover of the application, and Monakwe, argued that the application relates to the matter already before Justice Kebonang, concerning the interim order given to the Monakwe and his team to operate the BOPEU bank account. He added that Mogwera removed his clients from the Registrar of Trade Unions based on Justice Garekwe's recent High Court ruling that restored her to BOPEU.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

The Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page is always filled with sad complaints of hard working Batswana who were robbed at knife point at some traffic lights or at their home gates when trying to get inside.These thugs have no mercy; they do not just threaten victims, they are always ready to use knives, and sadly, they damage car windows. While this happens at different traffic lights, there are those where such incidents happen more frequently...

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