The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila has endorsed the decision of the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Board to expel the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Mudanga and three of his Directors. The decision to relieve Mudanga of his duties is said to have also been endorsed at a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.
The Chief Executive and his lieutenants are said to have fared badly in a performance appraisal conducted by the board. The three Directors who have been shown the door are Harry Pheko who is the Regional Operations Director- South, Meshack Balebetse who is the Regional Operations Director- North and Finance Director Taboka Muke. While the two Operations Directors will clean their desks end of next month, , the Finance Director Muke will only leave in September.
This is meant to give her enough time to finish the ongoing financial audit at the corporation. In a memorandum addressed to staff members on Friday, Mudanga informed them of the impending departure of the executive management. “Following the Water Sector Reforms of 2009 to 2013, which entailed the transfer of all water supply services in villages from the Department of Water Affairs and District Councils; and further transfer of wastewater services from the District Councils to Water Utilities, a need arose to address key organizational imperatives/challenges in both short, medium and long term”, writes Mudanga in his memo to staff.
The memo further reads, “One of the outcomes of this process was that management and senior supervisory cadre roles of WUC were placed on 3 year fixed term contracts. When these contracts expire the Corporation assesses and decides on the renewal or non-renewal of the contracts depending on the performance of the individuals or the continued relevance of position or role”. In trying to explain why his and the Directors employment has been cut before the expiry of their contracts, Mudanga explained, “The corporation has seen if fit to release some of the Executive members before the expiry of their contracts through a mutual consent”.
Mudanga became WUC Chief Executive in 2010 following the resignation of Fred Maunge. Maunge resigned when the Water Sector Reform was introduced at the instruction of President Khama. Maunge, who was said to be skeptical of the success of the takeover of the Department of Water Affairs by WUC resigned in an effort to save guard his good track record and success at WUC. It was then than Mudanga, who was Maunge’s deputy at the time, took over the reins. It has not been smoothing sailing for Mudanga.
Since he took over and implemented the Water Sector Reforms, WUC started experiencing financial losses. The situation has been so bad that in some instances salaries are paid late forcing the corporation to sources funds from the corporation’s investments accounts. When he took over as Chief Executive, Mudanga got rid of his predecessor’s old guard and brought in his new team which he now leaves with.
He offered early exit packages to Neo Mokgwathi who was the Finance Director, Macie Molebatsi who was the Human Resources Director. He didn’t renew the contracts of Lillian Mosimaneotsile who was the Technical Director and Wilhelmina Pheto who was the Corporation Secretary. Last month Mudanga fired Percy Bakwena who was the Management Accountant Manager after slapping him with charges of non-performance.
Last year Mudanga’s deputy, Judy Tsonope resigned one year into her 3 year contract with the corporation and speculation was rife she may have fallen out with Mudanga. WUC Board Chairman Matome Malema has said the decision to part ways with Mudanga and his Directors was reached amicably.