Nurses give up on govt

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 13 May 2020   |   By Bakang Tiro
Rahube Rahube

Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) President Obonolo Rahube says nurses will not appeal the decision by the High court to throw out its urgent application in the case where nurses wanted to force government to prioritise their welfare as frontline workers in fighting COVID-19.

Gaborone High Court Judge, Godfrey Radijeng thew out with costs the urgent application, through which BONU was seeking government to provide nurses in screening COVID-19 with Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs) amongst others.

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In interview with The Patriot on Sunday late Friday, Rahube said the union had hped that the court will grant them relief by ordering that government to offer necessary support to nurses. He declared that for BONU to lose the matter with costs demonstrates that their prospects of succeeding should they appeal the case will be minimal. “We have tried our best in fighting for the welfare of the nurses as frontline soldiers in the fight against COVID-19. We wanted government to provide us with all necessities such as PPEs, food, accommodation and isolation centers for nurses but high court thrown our case,” Rahube said.

In addition, he urged the nurses to focus and not be demotivated by the high court ruling saying that their struggle continues buttressing that post corona they will still fight for their well-being.

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He went on to show gratitude to two Francistown legislators Wynter Mmolotsi and Buti Billy of Francistown South and East for recognizing the important job of health workers amidst corona. The two MPs, he said, were the only ones who stood up to demand better welfare for nurses while making their debates during a televised emergency parliament meeting on Wednesday.

Francistown MP Wynter Mmolotsi said health workers demand 13th cheque as reward but ruling party caucus including minister of health gave deaf ear to the proposal by Mmolotsi. “The nursing and health fraternity at large was humbled by the gesture shown by this two MPs for their bargaining of better conditions for the health sectors. They made good points which will motivate us if those who are in power are not,” said the little comforted BONU president.

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Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Lemogang Kwape was not available as his phone was off. The Permanent Secretary of Health and Wellness, Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Attorney General and Director of Public Health were the respondents on the matter.

Radijeng’s Judgment

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Delivering the ruling, Radijeng dismissed the BONU application with costs saying government is providing protective equipment notwithstanding the nurses’ demands. “The Respondents on the other hand have set out evidence that presents a picture of a detailed account on the status of measures to ensure the safety and welfare of the Applicant’s members at the COVID-19 cites in Botswana,” Judge Radijeng stated, dismissing BONU’s application on Monday.    



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