BTU millions grow

SHARE   |   Monday, 10 August 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Kenosi Kenosi

Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) has posted healthy financial results in their 2014 financial year, the Union Secretary General Ibo Kenosi has revealed. Kenosi said this was the first time that they are reporting consolidated financial statements which covers BTU as a group covering operations of its wholly owned subsidiaries. He said the report shows an increase in assets and a reduction in liabilities and it is an improvement in the position of the BTU Group of companies.

The confident BTU Secretary General said that the financial report shows that their union has experienced commercial growth of 13 per cent in their balance sheet, which is way above the Botswana inflationary movement. He, however, said that Unigem (Pty) Ltd where they hold 25 per cent shares is not performing well, which overlay affects the amount invested therein. Although Kenosi refused to reveal how much the union has made out of their investments, the financial report shows that BTU non-current assets which include properties have increased from P45 079 320 in 2013 to P49 949 165 in 2014, representing an increase of nine per cent.

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The report which was presented last week at the union’s Annual General Meeting held in Maun also shows that BTU current assets have also increased from P1 042 908 to 2 825 887  and this was attributed to improvement in the cash resources of the union whose cash resources were 94 per cent of the total group  cash in the bank. The audited financial report further indicates that the total assets owned by the BTU Group of companies totaled P52 775 052 an increase of 13 per cent compared to last year.
One of the assets that have contributed to the increase in profit for the teacher union is the Planet Lodge in Francistown whose purchase nearly split the 78 year old union in 2012 with allegations of corruption in the transaction bandied about.  It was alleged before the 2012 elective congress, BTU Secretary General Ibo Kenosi benefitted financially as he pocketed over P10 million when the lodge was  bought and didn’t consult the board. Kenosi denied the accusation saying the purchase of the lodge was approved by the board and that he did not benefit anything from the transaction.
The 2014 financial report has vindicated him as it shows that the increase in noncurrent assets was brought about mainly by revaluations on the lodge which saw its value increasing by P3 700 000.
Although he refused to reveal the current financial position of BTU, Kenosi said the union is showing some growth and the leadership has been encouraged by delegates at the Maun AGM to diversify their assets and invest more. “As you might be aware government wanted to stop deducting members’ subscriptions on our behalf so we need a sound financial status in order to survive if they halt in helping us,” he said.
Kenosi revealed that they are going to have an extra ordinary congress this year which will look at the constitution after delegates at Maun AGM called for its review. Sections to be reviewed include the term limit for office bearers as some feel it is too short for one to implement anything, said Kenosi adding that most of them want it to be increased. In another development, Kenosi revealed that they are going to have a Labour University College and currently they are benchmarking in India at Tata University and Wits University in South Africa. “We have submitted documents to Botswana Qualification Authority and if given the go-ahead we will establish the university which will offer courses on labour issues and managerial courses,” said the confident Kenosi.

BTU which is the oldest trade union in Botswana has invested in five companies being More Investments (Pty) Ltd in which they have 90% shareholding, Honest Investment (Pty) Ltd  (91%), Botusafe (Pty) Ltd (25%), Unigem (Pty) Ltd (25%) and Botswana Federation of Trade Union where they also hold 25% shareholding.