Wednesday, October 27, 2021

BIUST legal advisor fired over Seretse’s P31 000/month rental house

Fresh information has emerged to the effect that the director of legal services at the troubled Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Obolokile Sekga has been shown the door. 

The firing of Sekga follows his alleged failure to advise the institution regarding a rented house that belongs to the former ambassador of Botswana to the United States of America (USA) Tebelelo Seretse. 

In mid 2014, media reports emerged that the former Vice Chancellor at BIUST, Professor Hilary Inyang was paying a whooping P31, 000 a month to live in a lavish mansion owned by Seretse. Seretse is a well known member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party who has at some point had aspirations to become both the party chairperson and the women’s wing leader. On Monday, the BUIST spokesperson Keoagile Rafifing could not be drawn into shedding more light on the matter. 

“The contractual   agreement between the employer and the employee is always a classified and confidential matter, as a result it cannot be discussed with the third parties therefore we cannot discuss the university employer\employee relations and associated matters in the public domain.”

Contacted for comment Sekga briefly said that “it is true I have been dismissed from my employment recently after being suspended.” 

Sekga did not rule out the possibility of challenging her dismissal legally as soon as she has consulted with her legal advisor. “Unfortunately the institution has not given me the reasons why they have decided to fire me,” she said. 

At the same time, sources based at the institution said this week that atleast two other senior executives have been fired. The duo, including Sekga have been part of the senior staff members who were serving suspension following allegations of financial irregularities that has rocked the institution in which millions of pula are unaccounted for.

It said that a few months ago BUIST engaged a well reputable auditing firm to investigate allegations of mismanagement of funds that eventfully led to the suspension of deputy finance director and Professor James Katende who was also the Dean of Faculty of Engineering.  Katende was apparently accused of mismanagement of funds that were sourced from Germany and other regional countries and research institutes under the National Energy Education Project (NEED) some time ago.

Reached for comment on the matter, Katende stated that “I am sorry I cannot comment on the matter rather speak with the institution spokesperson who is allowed by law to speak with the press.”    

Close sources at the troubled institution claimed that another fresh allegation is brewing in which the management is accused of illegally receiving housing allowances while being given free accommodation

It is reported that the council advised the management to cut the housing allowances and ordered those who have been receiving the allowance illegally to  repay. Instead of cutting their allowances, they allegedly consolidated the housing allowance with the salaries.   

“This is pure fraud at its best and nothing is being done,” said a source. 

The source claimed that they have lost hope from both the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS) as the institution is being milked millions of Pula and nobody seems not to care about the future of the institution.  

Meanwhile while responding to The Telegraph, the BIUST board chairman Barnard Bolele referred this publication’s queries to Vice Chancellor Vice Chancellor Professor Otlogetswe Totolo.  Totolo’s cell phone rang unanswered by the time of going to press on Monday evening.

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