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LEGAL DUTY: Commissioner of Labour Goitseone Kokorwe

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Union slams Palapye labour office

REPORTS THE DISTRICT OFFICE TO COMMISSIONER

Botswana Miners Workers Union has reported the Palapye District Labour Office to the Commissioner of Labour Goitseone Kokorwe.

In a strong worded letter seen by this publication, BMWU Secretary General Maenge Maenge has lodged a formal complaint on what he terms dereliction of duty by Palapye Labour officers.

Maenge also stated that the complaint also includes the Palapye office’s immediate supervisors in Selebi Phikwe and Serowe concerning how they’ve handled the BMWU and Makoro Bricks and Tiles matter which is currently before Justice Diwanga of the Francistown Industrial Court.

Maenge said the union has for years sought recognition at Makoro Bricks and Tiles without much success. He stated that on 14th June 2021 Justice Diwanga issued an order directing the labour office to carry out a ballot for purposes of determining the threshhold for union recognition, Makoro Bricks and Tiles failed to comply with the order and Labour officers did not turn up for that exercise.

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He said a subsequent order was issued citing Gilbert Roberts and Luzibo Mgadla who are District Labour Officers at Palapye to comply with the court order.

“The same officers have deliberately refused to carry out the orders, at some point engaging with Makoro Bricks and Tiles Management bilateral in the absence of the union,” Maenge said.

He further lamented that although they escalated the matter to the Serowe Sub-Regional Office and later Selebi-Phikwe, the outcome was the same.

“The reasons given by the District Labour officers as to why the court order has not been complied with as per provision of the Trade Disputes Act are unreasonable, absurd and defy both legal and administrative logic,” he said.

The SG further demanded a full overhaul of the Palapye office as they do not believe that their members at Makoro will get the justice they deserve.

Maenge warned that the conduct by labour officers in Palapye has the potential to bring the District Labour Office into disrepute.

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“Already our confidence in your office at Palapye and the region has been greatly diminished. In fact we do not believe that the union will ever get a remedy with that particular office involved,” wrote Maenge.

Meanwhile the two Palapye Labour officers have been summoned to court by Justice Diwanga to show cause why they should not be charged for contempt of court.

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