15 sacked ABM lecturers cry foul

Letty Masunga
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
ABM campus ABM campus Botswana Guardian

Over 15 full-time lecturers and other administrative staff at the ABM University in Gaborone have been terminated without warning, Botswana Guardian is reliably informed.

All the employees had contracts that had ended and were still awaiting review. Sources told this publication that the sackings happen at a time when most if not all of the lecturers had been working for over nine months after their contracts had elapsed.

A lecturer that preferred anonymity shared that their contracts had elapsed in February 2017, and that they received their terminal benefits in April 2017 respectively. 

However; he said that the employer did not communicate as to whether their contracts would be reviewed or not. Even then, he said they still received monthly pay until December 22 when the announcement of ‘lay-offs’ were made.

While it seems that contracts had automatically assumed the character of the previous ones, the aggrieved lecturers express anguish at their employer’s lack of regard in the matter  at hand. 

“Our letters simply say, our contracts cannot be renewed but we have all been under the impression that they will be renewed as we have been working and getting our salaries as per the previous arrangement.” 

In fact they say, the letters that were handed over in December should have long been handed over before contracts ended, something they regard as “crafty and unlawful”.

Another aggrieved employee maintained that the process of ‘laying off’ was also done without regard to due process. “We were not warned or even made aware that this would happen.” In fact, she says on that fateful day, a meeting was called only for them to be told that their contracts would be terminated and January would be their last month as employees as a result of the ‘current financial situation’.

"We demand that we be fairly dismissed. We demand that our benefits be calculated aptly with complete regard to the time we worked out of contract.”Executive Director of ABM University Daisy Molefhi was not available at the time of going to print. Her secretary said her boss was repeatedly in and out of meetings. The publication was later referred to the Human Resource Manager who was unavailable at the time the call was made. While ABM university college continues to grow in leaps and bounds, it faces an extreme shortage of lecturers. Last year the institution launched its Entrepreneurship Development Centre which is located in Gaphatshwa.

The aim of the centre is to promote youth entrepreneurship activities by students and alumni by providing a network of like-minded resources who may help sustain both the passion and provide ideas on entrepreneurship. It is currently receiving admissions for 2018 batch of students.

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