Monday, September 28, 2020

Minister Batshu caught up in theology college row

Kgolagano Theology College is embroiled in fresh allegations that it may have been paying an illegal immigrant who was denied both work and residence permits by local authorities.

Inside sources allege the college is keeping an illegal immigrant, one Richard Magweregwede, who is not employed by the college, freely at its house Number 5689 at Partial in Gaborone.

The Sunday Standard can reveal that on 10 November 2011, former principal, Reverend Rupert Hambira, wrote a letter to the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs seeking his intervention after both the Regional Labour Office and the Regional Immigration Board turned down Magweregwede’s application for residence and work permits a copy of which the Sunday Standard is in possession of.

In the letter, Hambira wrote to the Minister that Magweregwede’s application was turned down by the Regional Board meeting of 12 October 2011 due to a “communication breakdown between our office and the Regional Labour Office”.

Despite the fact that Magweregwede has never been an employee of Kgolagano College, Hambira nevertheless wrote to the Minister that “Mr. Magweregwede has been very instrumental in helping us to re-brand our college and his continued service will enhance the standing of our College as a Tertiary Education”.

“I have included the required documents and kindly request your high office to reconsider the decision of the Regional Board and grant this very essential member of our staff residence and work permits,” Hambira pleaded with the Minister.

Somehow, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) secretary general Dr. Gobotswang intercepted the letter written to the Minister of Labour by Hambira and subsequently wrote to the Minister asking him to uphold the decision of the Regional Immigration Office and the Regional Immigration Board and deny Mr. Magweregwede residence and work permits. Sunday Standard is in possession of a copy of Gobotswang’s letter, which bears the BCP’s letterhead, dated 20 February 2012. The same letter was also copied to the Commissioner of Police, Thebeyame Tsimako.

The Botswana Police Service spokesman, Christopher Mbulawa, could not, by press time, deny or confirm that Tsimako had received a copy of the letter. The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu, has however denied seeing both Hambira and Gobotswang’s letters.

“I have never seen those letters. Dr. Gobotswang is lying. He has never hand delivered a letter to my office,” Batshu said.

But Gobotswang begged to differ.

“Batshu is a crazy man. I handed the letter to his secretary who then registered receipt in a hard book. There is no reason for me to make up a letter to the Honourable Minister for no reason,” Gobotswang said.

The beleaguered Kgolagano College board of trustees, in addition to their failure to account for the missing P144 000 belonging to a deceased former lecturer, Bokang Tlhako, has now instructed the acting college principal, Bene Thapedi, not to respond to further enquiries by this publication.
This is despite the fact that the acting college principal Bene Thapedi, the deputy principal, Maqebo Moshoeshoe, and a volunteer, Jim Wilson, last week jointly asked the Sunday Standard to hold the story relating to fresh allegations against the college until they can provide an informed response.

Moruakgomo has once again protested that he does not want to discuss internal matters with the media when asked if indeed he has instructed the acting principal not to respond to our written enquiry over fresh allegations.

“I told you last week that I don’t discuss internal college matters with the media. Please, please, please. Leave us in peace,” Moruakgomo protested.

Kgolagano College is funded by grants from the United Church of Canada, Global Ministries, and the Methodist Church, School fees from students and Kgolagano Properties among others.

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