Sunday, July 14, 2024

BOSETU Exec Committee interviewed fellow member for job

The BotswanaSectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) is refusing to explain circumstances that led to a member of the National Executive Committee (NATEX) being interviewed by other members of that same committee for a position at the Union’s head office in Gaborone. The interview (for the position of Regional Organiser) was conducted on September 16 and the interview panel comprised three NATEX members. Among the candidates was the Secretary for Gender Affairs, who is a NATEX member.

While this case doesn’t go against BOSETU’s constitution, it raises serious corporate governance issues. During a restructuring process, the Secretary for Gender Affairs had participated in a process to approve a new organisational structure and later, in a committee to place staff in positions of the new structure. A Union source says that it would have been ideal to upgrade some people to the position in question than take them out of contention, then consider filling the position with someone who participated in the process to take the latter out of contention. 

As regards corporate governance ideals, the source says that the NATEX candidate should first have resigned her position within the Committee before she applied for the job. Alternatively, the source adds, her NATEX colleagues should have recused themselves from the panel. After each election cycle, new Committee, especially those in NATEX, undergo induction and one of the issues they are trained on is corporate governance – the King IV code.

The Union has also advertised for a similar but higher position – National Organiser. Union sources say that it is highly likely that another NATEX member may also apply for the position and like the Secretary for Gender Affairs, be interviewed by a panel comprising her NATEX colleagues.

Another post that has raised suspicion in the advertised posts is that of Human Resources Manager because it was recently clouded by controversy.

After the expiry of the employment contract of the Union’s HR Manager last year, an HR consultant came to work at the BOSETU head office on behalf of an HR company. However, he was later engaged on a short-term contract in his personal capacity.

While BOSETU’s Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, declined to reveal how much this consultant gets in his new contract  with BOSETU our information was that he gets a tax-free P65 000 a month. Declining to confirm the figure, Rari refuted the claim that the consultant’s salary was not taxed. The significance of the latter is that non-payment of tax constitutes serious contravention of the law and would attract heavy penalties for those responsible. Some in the Union suspect that the consultant could have been earmarked for the HR Manager position.

BOSETU declined to comment on these issues. Rari neither responded to the written questions we emailed, WhatsApp messages nor phone calls.


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