Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Masisi to step down as UB Chancellor

President Mokgweetsi Masisi who is also Chancellor of the University of Botswana is expected to step down from his none-executive role at the country’s most premier institute of higher learning.

While Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr Theophilus Mooko has played down the reasons behind the president stepping down as Chancellor saying it was as prescribed by the University Act, The Telegraph has been able to establish that ruling party power politics are playing out inside the University Council.

There is currently a huge tussle between Masisi and Ian Khama.

Current members of the UB Council were appointed by former President Ian Khama.

In an interview, Mooko said the University of Botswana Act is mandatory in its prescription that a Chancellor should be someone appointed by the president.

He said as president now, Masisi cannot appoint himself.

He had been appointed to that position by then President Ian Khama.

Mooko who is himself a member of the UB Council said Masisi is currently in the process of identifying a replacement for himself.

“Once the president has identified that person and having talked and agreed among themselves then an announcement will be made,” said Mooko.

Masisi’s sympathizers are however not reaching such an innocuous conclusion.

Instead they read malice among some UB Council members who they say are interpreting the Act in a skewed way as a way of undermining and spiting Masisi.

According to them the UB Council is doing Khama’s bidding who appointed them.

At the moment there is a tussle for control of state institutions between Masisi and his immediate predecessor.

The two fell out after Masisi asserted himself and started removing some Khama loyalists from key positions following his ascendance as Head of State.

The UB Council is chaired by Parks Tafa, a ruling party stalwart with strong connections to the Khama family.

Tafa has also acted as a lawyer for the University.

Also on the Council is former president’s younger brother, Anthony Khama, among others.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana Professor David Norris said he was he was pretty relaxed with Masisi staying on.

But Dr Mooko is of the view that the UB Act is not flexible on the matter.

“The UB Act is different from that of BUAN [Agriculture University] or BIUST [Science University]” said the Permanent Secretary.


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