Government Driver Unlawfully Retired on the Basis of a Wrong Medical Board Exam

16 October 2008:
Government Driver Unlawfully Retired on the Basis of a Wrong Medical Board Exam

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is suing on behalf of Minki Nkobi the Attorney General and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport in a matter to be heard before Justice Lesetedi on Monday 20 October 2008 at the Lobatse High Court at 8.30 am.

In a letter from the Permanent Secretary dated 14th April 2008, Nkobi was retired from Public Service without notice on the 2nd of June 2008. The client received two separate letters claiming she had been examined by the Medical Board on the 12th of March 2008 and on the 7th of March. According to the client, both dates are wrong as she was examined on the 5th of September 2007 at Princess Marina Hospital. The second respondent (the Permanent Secretary) thus erred in acting on a medical examination that never took place as on both days, evidence (through log book registers) clearly proves the client was at work carrying out her driving duties.

Strikingly, our client was dismissed immediately upon her arrival from a 36days long trip to Kasane and surroundings areas. The question is if indeed she was incapacitated, why would she be sent on such a long trip?

BONELA is thus seeking to have the client reinstated as the basis on which she was dismissed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport in the Department of Building and Engineering Services was unlawful, unreasonable, irregular and wrongful.

The retirement was unprocedural as it was hinged upon Section 7.2 ((2) of the Regulations for Industrial Employees (RIE). However, employees retired through this section will have been absent from work for a period amounting to sixty (60) days per year and Nkobi had not done so. Further, Article 11.3 (1) e of the (RIE) entitles her to not less than six weeks notice before retirement is effected.

Whilst BONELA had advised of its willingness to settle outside court, the respondents filed an opposing affidavit on Wednesday 15th October 2008, essentially maintaining that our client was assessed in March 2008, which is not true, thus the matter will be heard before the courts.

Ms. Nkobi is represented by Mr. Uyapo Ndadi and the Respondents are represented by Mr. Nchunga Nchunga.