BLLHAWU on the brink of collapse

Weighed down by debts and internal fights in the Central Executive Committee, the Botswana Landboard and Local Authority Health Workers Union is allegedly teetering on the brink of collapse since the expulsion of its president, Samuel Kedise for failing to pay his subscriptions.

Treasurer General, Yarobi Motswaiso was suspended on Tuesday allegedly for “reluctance to settle some debts of the unions.” An insider said Motswaiso insisted on financial prudence in the union. “But I am surprised because the current leadership seems to be too powerful and they want to run the union as they wish.” The source said the idea of suspending Motswaiso was raised in a meeting last month but was deferred because she was not available.

Just two months ago Motswaiso was at loggerheads with Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa over the signing of a cheque by Finance Officer, Keneilwe Garethata. Motswaiso’s main gripe was that she is the only one authorised by the constitution  to endorse all payments and sign all cheques on behalf of the union. Reached for comment, Motswaiso said she has heard rumours about the suspension. “Currently I am in Maun and what I hear is that the letter is in Selebi Phikwe at the moment. I hear that I have been suspended indefinitely and should return all union property in four days pending disciplinary hearing. It is said that the letter was written by the acting President, Disang Mokwape,” Motswaiso said adding that she needs to see the letter before making any decision.

Mogoditshane branch chairperson Gerald Mahumba, who lost the Secretary General position to Motshwegwa in 2012, has also been allegedly slapped with suspension. “Yes I have heard those rumours but I said that I will collect my letter when I come to Gaborone because they wanted to send it by courier,” he said. When contacted on Wednesday, Mokwape refused to comment and, instead, hung up his mobile. He later switched his mobile phone off, perhaps to avoid this reporter. He could also not respond to short message.

Sources say the union is currently in heavy debts and has outstanding debts in the region of P700 000 including the affiliation fee to their mother body, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU). The troubles are believed to be caused by union’s investments, which are failing to make profit for it. Botswana Guardian is reliably informed that the union’s businesses are crumbling under the watch of former president, Pelotshweu Baeng who now holds the position of Executive Chairman.

Since the formation of BLLAHWU Benefits, BLLAHWU Printing and Publishing trading as Solfer, Grandtswana, Kika Printers, Red Employee Benefits and BLLAHWU Properties in 2008, the companies have collapsed owing to the Executive Chairman dearth of business acumen. The companies were formed to diversify the union’s revenue streams.

Last modified on Monday, 19 January 2015 12:28

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