• More than 45 teachers have died from COVID
  • Union prepares to sue govt


Leaders of Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) may face a vote of no confidence over what members see as their failure to compel the government to provide teachers with PPEs.

The union has come under increasing pressure from members to take the government to court over this matter after growing numbers of teachers succumbed to the marauding virus.

Nearly 50 teachers have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in Botswana early last year.

Members of BTU subsequently called for court action and are now accusing leaders of the union of reluctance to take the legal route because they are on a secret government payroll.

“There is growing concern that teachers are on their own because BTU leaders has failed to act,” said a source. “Teachers are scared to report for duty because they are dying in large numbers. Potential leaders in our midst are ready to take over and sue the government for failure to provide teachers with PPEs, prioritise teachers for vaccination, and to give us a risk allowance.”

Speaking on Teachers’ Day recently, the president of BTU Gotlamang Oitsile said the government had ignored their call for teachers to be prioritised in vaccination, saying the
union had expected teachers to follow nurses as workers in the front lines.

“We welcome government decision that teachers will be included in the priority vaccination programme, but the statement is incomplete because I had expected them to give us timelines,” Oitsile said. “We have had many vaccines coming into the country but the government has continued to ignore us.

“Teachers are at high risk and we have had too many cases of teachers passing away due to COVID-19. That alone should have set alarm bells ringing. We have started to prepare the paperwork to take the government to court unless they tell us clearly when teachers will be vaccinated. If it was not for Teachers Day, we would not have heard whether will be included on the priority list.”