- High Court agrees Judah Buisanyang was wrongfully denied the scarce skills allowance
- Case may have opened flood gates for gov’t workers denied scarce skills allowance in similar circumstances
A court ruling shot down government’s decision to deny its employees scarce skills allowance by reading ‘extra qualifications’ into an already enacted 2008 Presidential Directive.
Acting Justice Kabelo Lebotse of the Lobatse High Court on Monday ruled against government’s decision that management analysts- mostly human resource top managers- need extra qualifications or certificate. This is after former employee Judah Buisanyang dragged government to court after being denied scarce skills allowance as a management analyst.
Buisanyang who was employed by government in 2008, resigning in 2014, asked the court to declare him entitled to 25 percent scarce skills allowance since he was a management analyst possessing relevant and appropriate qualifications. The 2008 Presidential Directive which was introduced when former President Festus Mogae was about to leave office and implemented the same time President Ian Khama was inauguration on 1 April 2008 states that employees entitled to scarce skills allowance are those “possessing relevant and appropriate qualifications and carried out the functions and duties of the post attracting the said benefits.”
Buisanyana contended that he has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and is a management analyst even though he was denied scarce skills allowance. The Office of the President issued a Directive on March 13, 2008 to confirm that government has decided to approve, as a transitional measure, a variable temporary Retention/Scarce Skills Allowance of more than 40 percent of the basic salaries of lawyers, judges and other law professionals (the C Band); IT technicians and management analysts were extended the 25 percent approval.
Government however argued that Buisanyang was not fully qualified for the allowance it introduced almost a decade ago, contending that for him to qualify, he needed a Certificate in Management Services. Buisanyang queried this saying, that requirement did not exist in the 2008 directive and that government was just ‘reading an extra qualification’ into the Presidential Decree.
Justice Lebotse agreed that Buisanyang was wrongfully denied the scarce skills allowance as he is fully qualified- and ordered government to pay Buisanyang the 25 percent scarce skills allowance from the date of its implementation in 2008 following the directive till 31st March 2014 when he resigned from public service. Government is also expected to bear cost of his application. Buisanyang was represented by Uyapo Ndadi of Ndadi Law Firm.