Thursday, August 5, 2021

BMC boss plunders cash strapped parastatal

Former Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) acting Chief Executive Officer Boitumelo Mogome-Maseko fleeced the cash strapped parastatal of hundreds of thousands in undue housing and car allowances – Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.

Sunday Standard has turned up information that Mogome-Maseko illegally paid herself housing and car allowances running into hundreds of thousand Pulas although she was staying in a staff house and using a company car.

It has also emerged that the acting CEO plundered the BMC butchery, raided company cleaning supplies and abused the company mobile phone.

Sunday Standard investigations have raised a letter dated 24th March 2021 from the BMC Human Resource Manager petitioning the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture to summon Mogome-Maseko explain the alleged undue allowances as part of the parastatal’s Human Resource Capital inquiry.

In a letter dated 24 March 2021, titled “Benefits accorded to Chief Executive Officer”, Acting Executive manager Human Resources Athulang Ngwigwa revealed that the acting CEO was enjoying “dual benefits” contrary to the BMC Act.

The letter stated that the acting CEO was staying in a pool house while drawing P12, 000.00 per month in housing allowances for the past two years.

Ngwigwa pointed out that all BMC executive managers draw a monthly housing allowance of P12, 190.00 plus utilities at 6% of basic salary.

“If one stays in the Commission house, they lose this benefit, however the former acting CEO enjoyed the dual benefits for a period. The former acting CEO has been enjoying both the use of the official car and car allowance,” said Ngwigwa

In his return mail dated 29 March 2021 the Permeant Secretary in the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security Dr Letlhogile Modisa instructed the acting Executive manager Human Capital to terminate Mogome-Maseko’s P12, 000.00 housing and acting allowance until further notice.

Mogome-Maseko’s acting appointment was also terminated with effect from 1st March 2021.

The acting CEO was paid earned a monthly lumpsum of P20, 000.00 in acting, housing and car allowances.

As a result, the BMC has been without a CEO for two months now.

It is not yet clear why Mogome-Maseko was not confirmed after serving as acting CEO for two years since 2018.  

The acting CEO was also accused of abusing her power to double her Cellphone allowance.

The policy states that executive members get non cash benefits of P1, 000 airtime and P1, 000 worth of data.

The CEO role has unlimited usage, however the last acting CEO (Maseko) usage over the last four months has been astronomical: in November 2020 she claimed P16,444.679; December 2020 P7,240.50 January 2021,5,537.45 and February P11,000.00.

It further emerged that during her acting term, food rations from the staff canteen and house cleaning detergents were diverted to her house.

The letter from Ngwigwa claimed that the acting CEO also abused her powers to raid the BMC butchery. She claimed an average of three cartons of beef per month; Ribeye steak at 20kg x 73.85 = 1,477.00 Tbone 20kgx 41.60=832 and stewing beef at 20kg x 31.20 kg P624.00 making a total of 2,483.00 per month.

The acting CEO’s ration was far above that recommended by the company.

The HRM manager Human Capital recommended 10 kg meat per month with a a provision to increase when there are known visitors.

The PS Dr Modisa stated that the housing allowance should not be allowed to continue if the incumbent stays in official residence.

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