Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Duma FM accused of firing presenters for alleged sympathy to BMD

The newly formed Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD) may have cost three employees of the private radio station, Duma FM, their jobs.

This comes in the wake of reports that the radio station could not confirm the employment of some presenters because they were viewed as sympathetic to the BDP splinter party.

Information reaching The Telegraph is that Moses Maruping and another presenter Kevin Thipe as well as a programmes manager Gabriel Sengwatshe, will no-longer be the station’s employees by next month. The three were recruited as part of the station’s recent rebranding exercise.

The trio, who have been serving probation, were slapped with letters showing them the door as of the 31st May as their services will no longer be required by the private radio station.
It is understood that the radio station’s decision to show the trio the door was triggered by a complaint launched by secretary of the BDP’s Culture and Publicity sub-committee, Macdonald Pelotletse.

He is said to have complained that the presenters were overtly sympathetic to the new party and that in all their programmes, they seem to raise some sentiments against President Ian Khama.
However, in an interview Peloetletse denied complaining to Duma FM. He also denied accusing the presenters of bias against his party.

“It is not true, I only called three radio stations requesting that we be given slots…I never complained about anybody,” he told The Telegraph.

Peloetletse said that he only asked the stations to offer the BDP a platform to defend itself against the many accusations that were coming from BMD officials who were being interviewed on the private radio stations.

In a separate interview, the station’s manager, Alfred Busang, denied any political motives behind the decision taken by Duma FM management.

“It has got nothing to do with pro BMD or anti Khama,” said Busang.
“The long and short of it is that we are not confirming them,” he stated.

“There are many issues that we considered, and this decision is not politically driven,” he added.
It is not only at Duma FM where employees linked to the new party are under threat of losing their employment. At Tsholetsa House, BDP’s head office, a party employee has been suspended on allegations that she is linked to the new party. Although he declined to disclose the details, BDP’s executive secretary, Dr Batlang Serema, confirmed the suspension and further revealed that the said employee would appear for a disciplinary hearing soon.

“It’s an internal issue, but I can only state that she is awaiting a disciplinary hearing,” said Serema.

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