Office of the President accused of ignoring ex-miners’ petitions


FRANCISTOWN: Former BCL employees say all their efforts to engage the Office of the President have failed amid claims that all the petitions they handed to the highest office never reached their intended audience.

Prior to the closure of BCL mine, the miners through their union Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) handed three petitions concerning their general welfare but none of the petitions were responded to, BMWU Secretary General Mbiganye Ramokate lamented. In the same breath and on the backdrop of the closure of the mine, the miners who disassociated themselves from the union by virtue of no longer subscribing again, regrouped and forwarded another petition to OP which was also never responded to, this was according to Chairman of Ex-BCL employees committee Kagiso Setlalemore.

According to Setlalemore, upon enquiry the Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi claimed that the office never received any petitions from BCL Ex-employees’ committee nor any other communique for that matter. “Since the beginning of the year after we handed over our petition to OP through Selibe-Phikwe District Commissioner’s office we have been sent from pillar to post. Until recently upon enquiry that is when we were told that the OP never received any of the petitions we claimed to have handed. This is all surprising because the OP only told us recently upon confrontation that our petitions never reached their office. We do not know who is telling the truth because the DC office also climed to have forwarded the petitions to OP, so no one between the two wants to take the blame,” Setlalemore bemoaned.

Similarly Ramokate also claimed that despite the petitions they handed as the union before and after the closure of BCL requesting address by the President of the country, they are yet to be responded to.

“Surely one petition that was received by then Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi might have reached the OP but they never got the opportunity to be addressed by the then President Ian Khama. We thought that Masisi’s regime will meet us, but we have always been asked to meet the Minister of Minerals Resources Green Technology and Energy Security. Former Minister Sadique Kebonang was dropped before we could meet him because he always claimed to be engaged. Even the current Minister, we are yet to meet him because he also claimed to be always engaged,” the BMWU SG pointed out.

Several efforts solicit a response from Morupisi and authorities from the Selibe-Phikwe DC office proved futile as their phones rang unanswered.