Minister of Transport and Communications Frank Ramsden has sacked the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation.
Thapelo Lippe had been on suspension for close to a year before he was sacked on Tuesday.
The BTC Board Chairman Len Makwinja has confirmed to Sunday Standard Online that Lippe has effectively been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.
“Yes it’s true he has been sacked. The Minister has already favoured me with a copy of the letter. Don’t forget I am the one who motivated the whole action by making recommendations to the Minister.” said Makwinja.
Under the BTC Act only the Minister can hire and fire the CEO.
Lippe was suspended following allegations of financial misappropriations at BTC.
Specifically the Board had investigated circumstances surrounding the purchase of World Cup tickets bought by BTC but never delivered.
Prior to his suspension Lippe was also involved in a tussle with the Board over bonus payouts to staff.
Lippe wanted to make payments while the Board questioned the performance of the parastatal thus far
Lippe’s sacking is likely to ignite a full blown legal battle between him and his employer.
And when he talked to Sunday Standard Online, Makwinja was well aware of what possible fights lie ahead.
“I would not want to talk much about this issue because there are legal implications involved. One thing for certain is that I presume the Minister has received all kind of advice he needed.?Another Board member confided that Lippe was however absolved of accusations surrounding the purchase of a BMW X6.
Upon receiving a report from the Board, Minister Ramsden had put together a panel to further investigate and furnish him with recommendations.
“It was an elaborate exercise. I do not see how Ramsden would sack the CEO without the blessing of cabinet colleagues,” said another BTC Board member.
At the moment, Lippe’s prot├®g├® from their days at Orange Botswana, Keabetswe Segole is BTC acting Chief executive.