NOT AMUSED: Rari

Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Unions (BOFEPUSU) has accused President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi of “lying to the nation” about having given a copy of the PEMANDU report to worker’s unions.

PEMANDU is a Malaysian consultancy company which was appointed by Botswana government to review the current public service remuneration system in terms of salaries, allowances and benefits.

BOFEPUSU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, says the union has even questioned the Director in the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) demanding an explanation of the president’s statement.

“During the State Of the Nation Address, Masisi said the PEMANDU report has been given to the unions, which was not true. We have never seen that report. We don’t know whether he was doing so deliberately or he was fed with wrong information, if the later is the truth, then he is surrounded by wrong people”

On the 4th of October, the trade unions wrote a letter to DPSM in which they requested to be given the copy of the PEMANDU report to help them prepare for the resuscitation of the bargaining council. According to the union, recommendations of the said report was critical in guiding negotiations ahead of the next financial year that begins in April.

“We propose to your office that you should convene a meeting of recognized trade unions in the public service to discuss PEMANDU report and recommendations with a view to engage on the review of conditions of service and wages of the public service. This is owing to the fact that the budgetary process have commenced and we are left with hardly six months before the commencement of the 2019/2020 financial year,” the letter reads in part.

PEMANDU is a Malaysian consultancy company which was appointed by Botswana government to review the current public service remuneration system in terms of salaries, allowances and benefits.

However, according to Masisi’s written State of the Nation Address (SONA), he mentioned that the consultancy work is expected to be concluded before the end of December this year and that once the PEMANDU report has been finalised, government will engage Public Sector Unions on the recommendations thereto.

Nonetheless, Rari maintains that during the same address, Masisi made contradicting statements when he further said the copy of the report has already been handed over to the unions, hence they have demanded that an explanation be made as to why the president did not tell the truth in that regard.

“The comments he made were not part of the written speech, but he did mention however that the report has since been handed to the unions,” Rari explained.

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