Trade union faces axe

Trade union faces axe

MASERU-THE deputy chairman of the Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU), Gibson Matlenya, is facing expulsion from the union for allegedly vandalising property during a teachers’ strike.
The LTTU has now written to Matlenya asking him to explain why he should not be expelled from the union.
The trade union accuses Matlenya of vandalising the Maseru city pavements during the teachers’ strike last year.

Such actions, the LTTU said in the latter, were “contrary to the laws, rules and regulations governing industrial actions”.
The LTTU has also accused Matlenya of inciting rebellion against the trade union’s executive committee and other committees that led the strike.
Matlenya is also accused of insulting members of a regional association of teachers called the Association of Non-Allied Teachers Unions (ANTUSA) during their visit to Lesotho.
Matlenya has rejected all these charges as baseless.

He says the charges are a witch-hunt.
He told thepost that his problems began after he was removed from all teachers’ Whatsapp groups to deny him information.
He said after their committee went behind their backs to strike a deal with the government, he together with other colleagues, decided to call meetings since their grievances had not been addressed.

“We also took part in looking for lawyers when times were hard,” Matlenya said.
“But we realised that our leaders were not serious in helping us.”
Matlenya said their leadership abandoned their responsibilities to the extent that one teacher, who was a member of the negotiating team, Thato Lethobane, quit his job and joined active politics.
Lethobane was elected into the Basotho National Party (BNP)’s national executive committee.

“We complained from the start when things were not going right that some members of our negotiating team were not doing it for the best interests of teachers,” he said.
Matlenya said he is now being punished for calling teachers’ meetings.
“I did not call meetings under the umbrella of any association. I called all teachers,” he said.
He said he was also being hauled over the coals for allegedly influencing teachers not to listen to their leadership.

He said the charge did not make sense since he was “the one who was encouraging teachers to resolve their grievances”.
“I never influenced teachers not to listen to the leadership.”

Matlenya denied being among those who vandalised the pavement in Maseru.
“They say I influenced teachers and became part of that but I never (did that),” he said.
He also said he is expecting the minutes showing when the committee met and took the decision to expel him.
Matlenya was asked to submit a written response explaining why she should not expelled from the union.
He says expelling him from the union would be completely out of order.

Nkheli Liphoto

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