SADC secretariat executive management led by Dr Stergomena Lawrance- Tax continues to contradict itself in its management practices. In the latest turn of events at the headquarters of the regional economic bloc the secretariat allegedly flouted SADC rules and regulations on the quota system requirement when shortlisting for 12 vacant regional positions which were due for replacement.
SADC sources say the latest may be a sign that the member states quota points system is open to abuse if not properly monitored. The matter has sparked questions as to how many regional staff could have benefitted despite their respective countries having exhausted their quota.
Dr. Tax was last Friday forced to issue a directive to all stakeholders ordering that the ongoing recruitment should strictly adhere to SADC rules and procedures, including adherence to a quota points systems.
Dr. Tax’s directive was directed at her deputy executive secretary Emile Moshobekwa, HR director Russell Mufaya and Head of Human Resource Hendricks Tonde. A document dated 13 November 2015 headlined “Ongoing recruitment” that the Midweek Sun has seen reads in part, “As resolved in management, the ongoing recruitments, that have shortlisted candidates from countries without quotas points should not proceed so as to avoid wastage of public funds, institutional time necessary complains. Reports of such interviews will not enable the organization to recruit any candidate from countries that have exhausted quota points.
A fresh shortlisting should be undertaken to include countries with quota points.” Ironically, Tax’s management only realised this week that regulations have been flouted despite allegedly having earlier given the process followed to shortlist names of the candidates, the thumps up.
Management approved reviews
The Midweek Sun has learnt that SADC management including Dr. Tax allegedly reviewed and approved Human Resources directorate to proceed and resource for the positions. The Midweek Sun is possession of authentic documents signed by Tax approving names of the shortlisted candidates. So far, interviews of the seven of the 12 vacant positions have been conducted with those showing potential being shortlisted. A memo from Human Resources titled ‘Short-listing report: selection of candidates’ held at SADC headquarters from 2 September 2015 – 16 September 2015 reads in part: “The human resources unit is pleased to submit to the Executive Secretary a report containing results of a short listing exercise for 7 regional positions in the SADC secretariat structure.
The short listing was conducted in accordance with Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy which is based on identifying candidates who best match the requirements of the respective positions they have applied for.” The memo further sates that out of the 11 regional positions, which were advertised in May 2015, only seven positions were shortlisted. The remaining four positions still pending due to unavailability of panelists were senior finance officer – financial accounting and treasury, senior officer records and archives management, librarian and human resources officer- payroll. The memorandum concluded that the selection committees were constituted in line with the recruitment selection and appointment policy.
How the quota systems works
Each of the 15 member states have been allocated 120 points apiece and required quota points are deducted from the member states once their respective nationals are offered a position at the secretariat. If the system is followed to the letter, then there is a stage where nationals of some of the members’ states are barred from applying whenever there is a vacancy that needs more than the quota points they are left with.
The points are rated according to the position of the officer, for example the Executive secretary’s position is allocated 30, deputy executive secretary is allocated 23 points, with Directors (19), senior officer 16 and officer 12 points.
Authentic and updated documents indicate that as of 1 November 2015 members states had utilised their points as follow, Angola 35 left with a balance of 85 points, Botswana 115 points left with 5, DR Congo 68, (52), Lesotho 120 points (0), Madagascar 28 (92), Malawi 116 (4), Mauritius 113 (7), Mozambique 61 (59), Namibia 97 (23), South Africa 23 (97) Seychelles 12 (108) Swaziland 106 (14), Tanzania 84 (36), Zambia 119 (1) and Zimbabwe 112 (8).
Position offered and contracts
It is alleged that some countries have benefitted over others as their nationals have been employed despite the fact that they either exhausted their points quota or they have less than the points required for such officer to be employed.
The Midweek Sun is in possession of authentic documents that show that at the time when Dr Tax management cancelled the interviews for the remaining four positions at least 10 candidates had already been shortlisted and booked flight tickets to attend the interviews. The Midweek Sun is in possession of authentic documents showing the names of the 10 candidates and their confirmed flights from destinations such as Kasane in Botswana; two from Lusaka (Zambia), two from Dar es Salam (Tanzania), Johannesburg (South Africa), Maputo (Mozambique), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Windhoek (Namibia) and Manzini (Swaziland). The flight tickets for candidates coming for interviews were booked at total cost of P139, 973, 00. It is suspected that the move to cancel the interviews may open a can of worms for SADC as the candidates may sue SADC for the inconvenience suffered.
The internal audit
The Midweek Sun has reliably learnt that this week, the SADC audit is currently going on at SADC. It is alleged that amongst other items on the agenda is lawsuit that SADC is facing following breach of contract.
Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.
It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.
According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.
Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.
“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.
Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.
ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING
Simba Mooketsi Mampori, 31, of Mbalambi allegedly killed his girlfriend in Bontleng, Gaborone and used her blood to scribble a message on the wall.
The message read, ‘Ke lapisitswe ke maaka’- translated to mean ‘I am tired of lies.’ Matlhogonolo Moshashu’s body was found inside his sister’s rented house in Bontleng.Mampori and Moshashu, 34, had a two year-old child together. Mampori allegedly killed her in March 31 by stabbing her with a screw driver, which was found inside the house. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, Otilia Kholiya, one of the tenants in the yard, said that she arrived on that fateful Sunday to find a yellow tape surrounding the yard with the police all over the place.
She said that she was the one who helped with cleaning. “He used her blood and wrote ‘Ke lapile ke maaka.’ I washed all the blood in the house by myself. Although police officers suspect that he used the screw driver they found in the house to kill her, I beg to differ. “That blood was just too much, it must have been something bigger,” she said, adding that they found a new dress that the deceased was going to wear to Mampori’s sister’s baby shower.
Another tenant Nicah Mandefu said that the house belonged to Mampori’s sister and that she rarely slept there and preferred her parents’place in Gaborone. She stated that she saw Mampori with his girlfriend arrive on Saturday around 4pm. “I don’t know him much because the house belongs to his sister. He probably just needed it for the weekend to spend time with his girlfriend who was staying and working outside Gaborone.
“They just greeted me and another tenant as we were sitting in front of our house. They stayed for 30 minutes and left. They would come again around 7pm,” she said. Mandefu said it was the first time she saw the deceased.
Mandefu said that Mampori’s sister arrived on Sunday around 9am, found her house locked and asked about his whereabouts. “She then told me that the lady he was with was actually his girlfriend and mother of his child,” she said. After some time, the sister returned to tell them that she received a report to say Mampori was found in Mmankgodi where he had tried to hang himself on a tree after killing Mashashu.
Upon failing to kill himself, he drove off recklessly at high speed, thus catching the attention of the police who stopped and charged him with reckless driving. “The police then noticed that he was not well as he had bruises from trying to kill himself. He could not even speak to the police but wrote down his mother’s phone number and gave them the keys to the sister’s house.
“They then took him to Thamaga Primary Hospital to be attended for his wounds on the neck, and later the police called his family and finally drove together to Bontleng where they found his girlfriend dead inside the sister’s house,” the neighbour tenant narrated to The Midweek Sun.
According to Botswana Police Service Deputy Public Relations Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, Mampori is also linked to another murder that occurred on 26 March in Gaborone in which a 39-year old woman from Molepolole was found with stab wounds.
At the time of his arrest, Mampori was awaiting trial for two murder cases committed in Mahalapye and Gaborone in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The deceased were his girlfriends. He was arraigned before Extension 2 Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He is incarcerated and expected back in court on April 17.
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