Botswana Court Halts Return Of Fired Workers

Hundreds of Botswana public servants take part in a rally in Gaborone in April 2012 (AFP/File, Monirul Bhuiyan) Botswana‘s Court of Appeal on Wednesday temporarily suspended a court order for the government to reinstate hundreds of workers who were fired in a massive strike last year.

Judge Ian Kirby put on hold a ruling made in the High Court last week ordering the return of 566 essential service workers to their jobs and said that an appeal, sought by the state, would be heard in August.

“The status quo prevailing prior to the judgment in respect of all the affected workers… should be maintained pending the final end and determination of the said appeal,” he said.

Nearly 90,000 public service workers, including teachers, nurses and doctors, downed tools in 2011 demanding a 16-percent salary hike in the first time that civil servants went on strike in Botswana.

The two-month strike shut down schools and some clinics, while hospitals operated on skeleton staff.

It was called off when a majority of civil servants settled for a three-percent increase.


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