Sunday, April 18, 2021

Lippe to sue BTC

Although a report by Ernst and Young cleared former Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Director, Thapelo Lippe , a Cabinet Memo dispatched last year is understood to have stated that Lippe was fired for allegedly buying himself a Luxury X6 BMW without board authority.

Lippe is understood to have instructed his lawyers, Cyril Ziman, to sue for unlawful dismissal and BTC has already been noticed.

Among the points expected to be raised in court is that while the BTC green book calls for disciplinary proceedings to be held and concluded within a space of five days and the verdict delivered without delay, BTC suspended Lippe and went for months before bringing disciplinary proceedings against him.

Even after the disciplinary hearing, the board sat on the ruling for months before forwarding its recommendations to minister Frank Ramsden.

Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, has declined to comment on reports that a cabinet memorandum released last year disclosed why the former BTC CEO was fired.

Minister of Transport and Communications Frank Ramsden also denied knowledge of the cabinet memorandum.

“I don’t know of any cabinet memorandum but due process was followed,” he said.

At the time of going to press, Lippe was not available for comment. His lawyer Cyril Ziman was also not available.

Under Lippe, BTC saw a 52, 2 percent growth in profit from the previous year, posting a net profit of P181 million, the highest in 10 years.

The corporation’s operating revenue also grew to P954, 4 million, just shy of the P1 billion mark and up 14, 7 percent from 2009. The parastatal was also able to cut back its debt by P60 million and halved the cost of its loans by P 10, 28 million. Other financial indicators such as capital expenditure, debt to equity ratio and growth prospects were also positive. Government also had a P45, 3 million windfall in dividends.

Lippe joined BTC around October 2008 on a three year contract.

But police investigators have in the past concentrated on questionable purchase of FIFA Word Cup tickets(undelivered) also bought by the BTC commercial department during Lippe’s time as head of the state owned parastatal.

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