Tuesday, September 29, 2020

BDP top brass to be “removed” from Air Botswana board

Digital media users who are also familiar with the social media language will certainly be aware of the famous or infamous notification – “So and so has removed you….” This is a notification that users of the social media application, WatsApp ÔÇô owned by Facebook usually get when the administrator of any group they belong-to decide to terminate their membership for one reason or another.

While the WatsApp group administrators usually do the “removing” suddenly and shockingly, the information is out in the street that atleast three members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will soon be “removed” from the board of the national airline ÔÇô Air Botswana.

The trio, Tebogo Masire, Mpho Balopi and Bernard Bolele is expected to be relieved from their duties at the board of directors of the national airline.

Masire, who is the current Board Chairman is not just an ordinary active member of the BDP but also sits on its Central committee. Balopi on the other hand also serves as the Secretary General of the ruling BDP ÔÇô known mostly for its political appointments. The third “culprit”, Bolele was at some point a Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West under the BDP ticket.

While she confirmed the membership of the trio on the AB board, Air Botswana General Manager Agnes Khunwana told the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises that the appointing authority is the Minister.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Kabelo Ebineng, who also appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) confirmed the matter stating that it is also conflict of interest. He acknowledged having discomfort with such board members when briefing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Quizzed by Member of Parliament (MP) Ndaba Gaolatlhe on governance policy and action taken against such board members, Ebineng stated that he is in consultation with his Minister and he assured the committee that proper action will be taken in few weeks.

On a similar exercise, Ebineng said the ministry has carried some forensic audit at BotswanaPost and felt the need to dissolve the board and came up with a new one for same reasons. At the time of going to press on Monday night, The Telegragh was unable to solicit a comment from Balopi, Bolele and Masire.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.