Property mogul, David Magang has warned the Botswana Public Employees Union to guard against internal revolt especially over funds as the union continues to make large investments. Magang was speaking at an event held to open the new BOPEU headquarters in the Central Business District.
Magang said as BOPEU boasts a portfolio of income-generating structures, which were built from a kitty arising from members’ contributions, he hopes that it will be at some stage clear what monetary benefits accrue to the members directly. “Do they get dividends on a yearly basis or special bonuses? Has it set up a special purpose investment vehicle along the lines of Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund that its members can tap into in old age?” he said, adding that it goes without saying that union funds are monies of the people for the people by the people.
Magang said BOPEU should guard against an Animal Farm-like revolt in its realm, saying in striving to be influential in legislation that will continue to benefit its members, they should not overreach themselves as there could be repercussions both directly and indirectly.
So far BOPEU employs 22 full members, excluding interns and other assistants. It owns Babareki Investment with a staff compliment of about 26 excluding interns. The business wing has invested in plots across the country to cater for among others member accommodation, union training school and other business interests.
Also speaking at the event, BOPEU President Andrew Motsamai said the event marked a critical milestone in the history of the union. Motsamai said it was a time to reflect on the history and their journey to success.
“This building is about the contributions made monetary and in kind by those who came before us. My team and I also recognise that, we will all leave one day, and others will emerge to continue with the baton in this long relay of life we seem to be running,” said Motsamai.
The building is located at plot 54374 at the Central Business District in Gaborone. I t is owned by the union through its investment wing, Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd. Babereki is 100% owned by the union. The purchase Price of the building is about P19, 246,250 (plus VAT).
The financiers are the Babereki Investments at the tune of P7, 246,250.00 and the Banc ABC Mortgage loan at a tune of - P12, 000,000.00. Currently the building is being occupied by the core union staff comprising of the administration, the industrial relations, finance and the education training and research departments. It is envisaged that the investment wing, Babereki will relocate to the premises to provide a one stop shop to BOPEU members. “This building will be a home to our members as we provide them with exceptional services. What I promise to my stakeholders, associates and clients is that as we enter this building we will double our efforts to eliminate those unnecessary delays and expedite services to our customers,” said the BOPEU President.
Since 2010, the union managed to acquire property and land that is worth close to P40 million. The union is also considering investing in various sectors and geographic locations. These includes agricultural and commercial lands in Palapye , residential land in Morwa , training school plot in Gaborone, and offices particularly in places where BOPEU has decentralised.