Township Rollers has seemingly flouted labour law procedures in the hiring of their Scottish coach Frank Nuttall. As things stand, the same approach seems to have been possibly applied in the signing of their new Ghanaian striker Francis Afriyie, BG Sport has established.
Rollers announced cutting ties with underperforming former coach Tomas Trucha on the 3rd January 2020. On 9thJanuary (Thursday), the club publicly called for job applications, citing the need to fill the vacant positions of head coach and professional football players. The closing date for applications as seen on the advert floated in local media outlets was 17th January 2020.
In an interview this week, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) CEO Mfolo Mfolo said the association on Monday (13th January 2020) had cleared Nuttal to start working. On Tuesday (the 14th) Rollers announced having hired Nuttall and by the 17th (Friday) his work permit had already been processed.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development clearly state that the employer does not have the right to hire their desired person before the closing date of the advert because the searching of prospective citizen employees will still be ongoing. Preference they say is first given to locals to apply.
According to Neo Lenkopane who is the Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry, an employer is required to advertise the post to check for the skills in the local labour market before engaging a non-citizen. If the employer hires a person of their choice before the circulation closes especially a non-citizen, it is blatantly unprocedural.
She further explained that an application for a work permit for such an employee has a high chance of being rejected by the Regional Immigrants Selection Board. By the time of going to print, BG Sport had not received clear answers on how Nuttall’s papers managed to be processed under such circumstances.
Meanwhile, Rollers has since pulled out the advert that was posted on their popular face book page two weeks back. When reached for comment, Rollers team manager, Motshegetsi Mafa said there had to be some misunderstanding with the dates as spelled out by this publication. “I am not sure of what you are saying, I will have to seek answers from the right office later; they have not been taking my calls, I believe they are still busy,” Mafa said before asking to be excused.
Nuttal, when asked if he had actually applied for the headcoach position or was headhunted said that he would not want to talk about anything related to how he arrived at Rollers. “I am not here for holiday, my focus is strictly on our next game this coming weekend,” he said.
The coach had also told this publication that he has been told not to speak about his contract with outsiders. Mafa would later confirm the instructions as true. Moreover, in another matter, Ghanaian striker Francis Afriyie, who received his work permit just this week, was announced as Rollers new player on the 8th January 2020. The advert for professional players would come a day later.
Rollers have been the first local club to witness the fastest processing of work permits in the recent past. However, the Ministry has since explained that there are various types of work permits and it is possible for some to be processed within two weeks or less as the process involved differ from one type of permit to the other. For example, there is an emergency work permit that can be issued in two weeks or less by the Commissioner.