This comes after the Minister for Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Tshenolo Mabeo made known his intentions to conduct an inspection of books or documents of some seven trade unions and two federations.
Mabeo said the inspection is in accordance with Section 49 (1) and (2) of the Trade Unions and Employer’s Organisations Act (TUEU). BOFEPUSU Acting Secretary General Mogomotsi Motshegwa states that the provision is against the ILO and they wonder why it is being used now.
“The ILO convention statutes give autonomy to trade unions and federations. They have no right to go through our books. We wonder why it is only brought up now. We think the government is in actual fact trying to retaliate against two trade unions. Why would they leave others out if they are genuine,” he said.
Mogomotsi said it was a requirement that the unions submit their finances to the registrar and are audited annually hence they wonder why the minister has to go through their books.
at congresses and conferences. We are just worried about the interference and harassment. At this rate they could find an excuse to jeopardize the existence of some unions,” he said.
The unions/federations to be audited are Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU), National Amalgamated Local, Central Government and Parastatals Workers Union (NALCPWU), Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Botswana Government Workers Union (BOGOWU), Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) and BOFEPUSU.
According to the press release from the ministry, the inspection is meant for the minister to satisfy himself that the financial affairs of these trade unions are conducted in a manner that is in conformity with the law and prejudicial to the interest of members.
Just recently ILO issued a report complaining that Botswana has failed to heed their call to update on some of the changes they were requested to effect after appearing before ILO last year.
BOFEPUSU and BFTU had reported that Botswana violated some ILO conventions.