Suspended treasurer sues BLLAHWU

The treasurer general of the Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU)) has taken the organisation to court for “unlawful and irregular suspension”.

In her affidavit, treasurer general Yarobi Motswaiso stated that on January 15, 2015, she received a letter from BLLAHWU vice president Disang Mokwape, informing her that she had been suspended. She was suspended for “committing acts of gross misconduct”.

“The letter stated that the first respondent intended to institute disciplinary proceedings against me and that I shall be furnished with a charge sheet and a date for the hearing appointed once investigations relating to my alleged misconduct are complete. The letter further instructed me to return all property of the first respondent that is under my custody and control to the first respondent’s head office in Gaborone within four days from the date of my receipt of the letter of suspension,” wrote Motswaiso.

She further stated: “Notably, the aforesaid letter did not communicate to me the nature of the misconduct that I am alleged to have committed. This is surprising because there is no misconduct of any manner I have committed in relation to the first respondent. The truth of the matter is that the second respondent [Mokwape] is in cahoots with other members of the CEC who are intent on purging out other leaders of the first respondent whom they do not agree with on key issues relating to the union’s governance.”

Motswaiso was elected to the treasurer general position in December 2013.

Motswaiso contended that her suspension from the union was null and void because the BLLAHWU constitution does not authorise that any member be suspended without any valid reason. “Mokwape’s decision to suspend me in this instance has no leg to stand on and is therefore null and void and of no legal consequence or effect.

To this end, the second respondent’s decision to suspend me from the first respondent must be declared unlawful and irregular and therefore null and void and of no legal consequence and effect as averred above,” reads the letter.

Attorney Obonye Jonas represents Motswaiso in the case. 

Although BLLAHWU was served with the court papers this week, it has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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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