DISS cuts ‘BUTTERFLY’ overime allowance

• Court affirms DISS termination of ‘Butterfly’s” overtime pay • Says restriction of her movement also lawful

DISS cuts ‘BUTTERFLY’ overime allowance

he Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) has won a case of restricting accused person (DISS agent) Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi’s “movement and stopping payment of her overtime allowance”.

Director General Peter Magosi penned a letter preventing Maswabi, better known as “Butterfly,” from leaving her duty station without authorisation immediately after she was interdicted.

In her judgment, Lobatse High Court judge Tebogo Tau noted that the applicant (Butterfly) was arrested on 17 October 2019 and charged with the offences of possession of unexplained property, financing terrorism and false declaration of a passport.

Justice Tau said the application is not for review and setting aside of two conditions relating to stopping payment of her overtime allowance. Restriction of her movement was lawful, Justice Tau asserted.  

She said Clause 12(ii) of the disciplinary code of DISS provides that an intelligence officer’s identity card shall be withdrawn and he/she will not be allowed to leave his/or her duty station except under special circumstances. With that, the court said “Butterfly’s” submissions were dismissed. 

“Officers of the directorate are required to work excess hours of seven days a week and on that basis employees will earn a fixed overtime allowance at the rate of 15 percent of basic salary,” said Justice Tau.

The courts have found that the words used in Clause 8.2 of the conditions of service, which forms part of the written contract of employment of the applicant, to the effect that “if at any time an employee is continuously not working the overtime they will cease to earn the allowance” are clear and unambiguous. In stopping payment of the overtime allowance to “Butterfly,” the judge said, the Director General of DISS was therefore lawful.

In her argument, Maswabi had said the decision of Magosi not to allow her to leave her duty station without prior authorisation is unlawful and ultra vires the constitution of Botswana as it interferes with the applicant’s right to privacy and imposes a new term on the contract of employment without the applicant’s consent.

She had sought an order to review, set aside and declared a nullity the decision of the Director General of DISS contained in a letter dated 25 November 2019 and 9 December 2019 stopping the applicant’s fixed overtime allowance.

On 26 November, Maswabi received a letter dated 25 November 2019 from the DISS Director General Magosi interdicting her from performing her duties pending finalisation of the criminal charges against her, placing her on full salary and all benefits attached with the exception of overtime allowance. The letter also prohibited her from leaving her duty station, which is Gaborone, without prior authorisation.