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Mine workers union gives Debswana ultimatum over late MD saga

• Union maintains Debswana is spying on its employees

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The Botswana Mine Workers Union have summoned Debswana management in a strongly worded letter intercepted by The Voice.

The matter is in relation to information released by investigation firm, Infortrac- which in a court case allege they were hired to spy on Debswana employees as well as the late Debswana MD, Albert Milton and his alleged side chick.

Infortrac have made damning allegation that they were hired by Debswana to procure spy equipment which was used to spy on employees.

In the letter dated 7 September 2020, the union summons Debswana MD for this critical meeting. “Our interest lies in the fact that you breached your duty of care by allowing your senior managers to violate employees right to privacy through installation of spy equipment for purposes of spying employees,” reads the letter.

The mine union had earlier asked to meet Debswana management in a series of letters starting from August.

Debswana refused to meet with the union. In another letter seen by The Voice from Debswana to the union dated September 3 2020, Acting Managing Director Lynette Amstrong says “in your letter you allude to a court action between.

Debswana and a client entity regarding some contractual issues, without admitting this to be the case, we are not at liberty to discuss matters that are subject to a judicial process.”Debswana further refuses to meet with the union only saying “we assure you that Debswana has no intention whatsoever to spy on its employees”.

The mining union is however adamant that Debswana is spying on its employees. “you were negligent in failing to inform the union the danger they were in from your managers’ alleged authorisation of dealing with Infotrac”.

The union further gave Amstrong three days to meet or else..”we impress upon you once again to schedule an urgent meeting with the union to discuss these issues within 3 working days, failing which we will escalate the matter to the board chairman without further notice to yourself.”

Infortrac has dragged Debswana to court demanding 110 million for the ‘spy’ job.

However in an interesting turn of events, Debswana has since denied engaging Infortrac to buy spy equipment.

Debswana says the deal maybe have been between Infortrac and The late MD In his personal capacity.

The case is before Gaborone High Court judge Abednego Tafa.

The Voice reached out to Debswana about the ultimatum from the union.

In response through its corporate affairs office, Rachel Mothibatsela confirmed the latest developments. “We can confirm receipt of the BMWU letter and further confirm that Debswana management is giving it the due consideration in line with established Union and Management engagement protocols”.

However quizzed further about allegations of spying on its employees the company maintains it does not have a programme of covert surveillance on its employees and business partners. “Senior leadership has not sanctioned nor is it aware of any spying on employees. This matter is under investigation. Furthermore such practices will be contrary to our Code of Conduct and appropriate measures will be taken against those who contravene it. Debswana code of conduct emphasises that Debswana specifically commits to respect the privacy of each individual, and comply with all applicable laws on the collection, storage, use, retention, transfer of personal information, as well as to use that information for lawful purposes. ”

@sharonmathala
Sharonm@thevoicebw.com

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