1. The Botswana Public Employees Union(BOPEU) have noted with concern that following High Court judge Justice Zein Kebonang’s decision to refuse BOPEU General Secretary Topias Marenga’s application for joinder based on some technicality an impression is being mischievously created by certain section of the local media, for sinister motives, to the effect that there could be some doubts or vacuum as to the status or legality of Mr Marenga’s position in BOPEU, specifically as to whether he is in or out of BOPEU as per the recent decision of Justice Kebonang’s court regarding the matter before him about the control of one of the union's bank account at standard chartered bank.
2. Members of the public, stakeholders, and indeed BOPEU members are advised to remain calm and dismiss such reports as malicious and indeed intentionally mischievous.
3.For the record BOPEU would like to state that the matter before Justice Kebonang confined itself only with the control of the standard chartered bank account, and nothing more, nothing less.
4. It should also be noted that as the General Secretary Mr Marenga and President Masego Mogwera Mogwera continue to be signatories to various other BOPEU bank accounts that BOPEU hold and operate with various banking institutions in this country.
5. While news items in the Botswana Guardian and the Business Weekly editions of last week, mischievously insinuate that Mr Marenga’s position as the General Secretary may be in doubt as a result of the observation of Justice Kebonang’s court, BOPEU would like to put it on record that on the contrary, there is no ambiguity or blurred lines in as far as who is the rightful General Secretary of BOPEU, even as per Justice Kebonang’s court, which was never asked to determine that fact in the first place, as the fact had long been determined in numerous High Court forums that are now considered final and binding.
6. Members of BOPEU can therefore relax with the knowledge that everything is in control. The President is Madam Mogwera, and her General Secretary is Mr Marenga. There is no confusion about that.
7. If at all there was any doubt on any one’s mind regarding this position, then the Court of Appeal ruling by Justice Lesetedi which is still fresh having been delivered just a few weeks ago, should help doubters, as the CoA settled the matter when he said in point 11 of that coA ruling, “ With the litigation victories delivered in two court decisions, the 27 November 2020, and the 7th May 2021, it meant that the first respondent(Masego Mogwera) and her team, more particularly the 3rd respondent(Topias Marenga), were now back at the helm of the control of BOPEU, in a National Executive Committee in which the 8th respondent, being Olefile Monakwe is ironically the 1st deputy president to his arch opponent, the 1st respondent, Mogwera.
8. For emphasis the High Court in Lobatse on May 7, 2021, specifically dealt with the issue of Mr Marenga’s fate decisively and in clear, straight forward language and restored him as the BOPEU General Secretary unequivocally and unambiguously, when Justice Mercy Garekwe in her wisdom, specifically issued these orders regarding Mr Marenga’s position; ( B): The proceedings and/ or decisions of the 2nd respondent's Special General Congress held on the 29th November 2019 to the 2nd December 2019 and/ or the Central Executive Committee held from the 3rd to the 6th December 2019 are reviewed and set aside and/ or declared null and void in so far as they relate to Masego Mogwera, Kgomotso Mokgethi, Tambona Jopi, Clifford Santsudu, Million Mpofu, Topias Marenga, for one or more of the following reasons....(iii) The decisions of the Special General Congress and/ or Central Executive Committee in themselves alternatively in relation to Masego Mogwera, Kgomotso Mokgethi, Tambona Jopi, Clifford Santsudu, Million Mpofu, Topius Marenga were arrived at arbitrarily or capriciously ...”
9. In yet another High Court judgement in a case motivated by our rivals when they tried to get a court order derecognising Mr Marenga and Madam Mogwera as the General Secretary and President of BOPEU, the panel of three judges in clear language ruled that Mrs’s Marenga and Mogwera are the legitimate leaders of BOPEU.
10. Fellow BOPEU members and well wishers, we therefore do not need the likes of the Guardian or Business Weekly to attempt to twist our clear gains in the courts of law to their mere wishful thinking.
11. We direct these clueless critics to the myriad of court rulings stated above especially the CoA, all of which are in the public domain for all and sundry, including the Botswana Guardian and the business weekly, which to our surprise appear to pretend and play blind to the existence and operation of these judgements.
12. We would like to beat it into the likes of Guardian and Business weekly’s heads that the CoA's judgement and the High court judgements are operational. They are all final, to be exact. Anything else to the contrary will be contemptuous, and consequences will be severe to any contemptuous entity.
13. We would have expected editors of newspapers posing as purveyor of facts, to know and understand these basic facts and understanding that Court of Appeal ruling is final, non appealable, and cannot be circumvented by any other court below. 14. These are simple, straightforward facts of law that newspapers which desire to be taken seriously by the public ought to grasp and share them with the public without bias and hidden agenda that are now exhibiting themselves through these comical errors.
15. For the likes of Business Weekly and Guardian to conclude that the judge has reversed Mrs’s Marenga and President Mogwera’s hard fought gains, as if reviewing and reversing the decisions of the three High Court cases as well as the most recent Court of Appeal ruling, is scandalous as such extremes have no room in our hallowed justice systems.
16. We are therefore relaxed at BOPEU and wish to urge members of BOPEU not to be perturbed by the blatantly malicious news reports.
17. We wish to state that Justice Kebonang is an honorable judge, we dont hold the opinion that he has reversed any of our gains or overruled the court of appeal as the Guardian and Business weekly reports claim or wish to imply.
18. The Business weekly and the Guardian newspaper had deliberately in a well orchestrated plan of a biased news angle, chosen to disregard all the facts of Justice Kebonang’s ruling, more specifically that he could not have reviewed the various court rulings that found and established that Mr Marenga is the rightful BOPEU General Secretary.
19. Of particular interest to the likes of Botswana Guardian and the Business weekly should be the facts in the CoA ruling issued by Justice Lesetedi recently where he made a finding that there was no appeal by Monakwe or anybody against Justice Garekwe judgement or the three judges panel judgement; meaning that those Hiigh court decisions and their findings are now final and binding and most importantly no court of law can be said to have therefore reversed those decisions, specifically in as far as Mr Marenga’s position as the Secretary General of BOPEU is concerned.
20. To this end, BOPEU wishes to refute the propaganda being peddled around by the above mentioned newspapers claiming that “ Marenga has fallen", in fact they should be saying the opposite, that Marenga has risen.
21. The Court of Appeal judgement by Justice Lesetedi has already made a finding that Mr Marenga is the rightful General Secretary and that his contract runs until 2022, not 2020 as some and certain newspapers wrongly allege.
Lastly BOPEU members are informed that since the delivery of the CoA judgement, both the General Secretary Mr Marenga and the President Madam Mogwera, have been back in office in full force and in charge. There is no court order that has reversed the coA ruling concerning the General Secretary Mr Marenga’s position in this regard.
Issued by BOPEU President, Masego Mogwera,
And General Secretary, Topias Marenga.