Monday, June 21, 2021

Gaborone City Council stuck with two CEOs

The transfer of power at the Gaborone City Council is taking longer than it normally does. For two weeks now, the Council has had two chief executive officers ÔÇô Agnes Seragi and Wazha Tema.
According to the mayor, Councillor Veronica Lesole, Seragi is in the process of handing over to Tema.

On the other hand, sources at Town Hall say that the former, who has been transferred to Molepolole to work as council secretary, is staying put to protest what she views as unfair treatment by the ministry of local government. Those familiar with the handover process say that under normal circumstances, this should last no more than two days.

From the start, the appointment of Tema drew controversy. Prior to this appointment he had been working for the Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit in Selebi Phikwe as Marketing and Communications manager.

He resigned his post at SPEDU to come to GCC. Seragi got to learn of her transfer two days after Tema was appointed to take over from her. ?The Sunday Standard has in its possession an offer letter to Tema signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Thato Raphaka, dated September 8th.??Another letter passed to Sunday Standard reveals that Raphaka informed the City Clerk of plans to transfer her to Molepolole two days after offering Tema the post of Gaborone City Clerk.??In a subsequent letter dated September 16th to the city clerk, Raphaka states: “Reference is made to the subject matter, in particular our meeting held on Friday 10 September 2010 regarding the same matter.??“I have carefully considered all facts you presented before me and have nonetheless decided to transfer you to Kweneng District Council as Council Secretary on your present salary scale and notch.”

GCC could not shed light on allegations of whether Seragi is resisting her relocation to Molepolole. Its Public Relations Officer, Seeletso Lekgaba, referred Sunday Standard’s queries to the acting town clerk, Senatla Rutherford, who was not available for comment. Seragi was said to be attending a workshop.

Whatever the case may be, the result has been that effectively ÔÇô and for the first time in its 44-year history, GCC has two town clerks. The domino effect is the Kweneng District Council being without a substantive CEO for a month. KDC’s chairman, Councillor Motlhophi Leo, says that as far as he knows, Seragi is still on leave. Indeed when Tema came in on October 4, Seragi was on leave but she resumed duty on October 18.

For two weeks now she has been working at GCC while KDC’s deputy council secretary is acting on her behalf. Leo confirmed that in accordance with government procedure, the latter would be drawing acting allowance. In terms of the public service’s general orders, acting in a position for more than 10 days entitles a public officer to such allowance. Such expense would not have been necessary if Seragi had moved to Molepolole.

Seragi still occupies her office at town hall and Tema has had to displace a deputy clerk. Sources say that the latter now shares office accommodation with a counterpart.

From the start, the appointment of Tema drew controversy. Prior to this appointment, he had been working for the Selebi Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit in Selebi Phikwe as marketing and communications manager. He resigned his post at SPEDU to come to GCC. Seragi got to learn of her transfer two days after Tema was appointed to take over from her.

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