The disciplinary proceedings against suspended Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) president Masego Mogwera are set to commence on Wednesday, The Monitor has learnt.
A faction led by acting president, Olefile Monakwe suspended Mogwera and the union’s secretary general, Topias Marenga on April 2019 over allegations that she misled the National Executive Committee (NEC).
It is alleged that she had said the Board of Directors of Babereki Investments as a collective, were not aware of transactions that involved investments, loans in subsidiaries and associate companies, when in fact there is evidence of documents she signed indicating her involvement in decision making and deliberately refusing to share the findings of forensic audit report sanctioned by the NEC.
The NEC members also complained that Mogwera took the National General Congress (NGC) to Kasane without considering the financial implications of such a move, which resulted in financial distress for the union.
She is also accused of failure to call a special congress by February as directed by the Kasane congress. As a result of the complaints, the NEC appointed a commission to investigate her and was subsequently found to have committed an offence hence the disciplinary hearing. Mogwera faces expulsion from the union if the disciplinary committee recommends it.
It is said that Monakwe’s committee has already decided to fire her from the union, while the disciplinary hearing is just an academic exercise to legitimise the action. If she gets fired, she would follow the same fate as her predecessor Andrew Motsamai who was fired in 2017 by the NEC for alleged abuse of office and possible misappropriation of funds.
When contacted for comment, Monakwe confirmed that Mogwera’s disciplinary hearing has been set for August 28.
“But it is not true that we are expelling her because that’s not how we operate. I can’t fire her. We are doing things procedurally in line with the constitution,” he said.
“The National congress is the supreme body with powers to expel her, I can’t. She can’t be fired tomorrow because there is also a process to give her a chance to defend herself.”
The Monitor has been reliably informed that Mogwera has filed urgent court papers to interdict the disciplinary process. The urgent application will be heard on Tuesday. Justice Chris Gabanagae will preside over the matter.