Monday, January 25, 2021

One more DVC suspended as Norris UB cleanup campaign continues

BY KABELO SEITSHIRO

The University of Botswana (UB) management this past Monday suspended from duty the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Finance and Administration – Mendel Nlanda.

Nlanda’s suspension comes in the midst of the institution’s financials system audit. The understanding is that Nlanda, being the custodian of the institution’s financials, cannot be a part of the process due to conflict of interest.

The audit comes reportedly as part of UB Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor David Norris clean-up campaign in his efforts to stem out alleged unreported corruption practices in the cash trapped institution.

UB Director Public Relations Mhitshane Reetsang confirmed the suspension of Nlanda but did not give full details to the process.

“He is being audited and therefore he is currently not on duty until further notice,” said Reetsang.

Nlanda’s suspension from duty came few days after his colleague Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, at the University of Botswana Professor Martin Mokgwathi resigned from work last week.

Mokgwathi’s sudden resignation sparked controversy but did not come as a surprise as he was on suspension from work for allegations of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. This happened at a time a number of investigations are on-going to stem out maladministration and corruption. This includes investigations on poor work ethics and incompetence.

UB Director Public Relations Mhitshane Reetsang last week also confirmed that Professor Mokgwathi has resigned from the employ of the University of Botswana. She added that Mokgwathi resigned in February 2019 but did not state the exact date.

Quizzed if UB management has accepted his resignation or not, Reetsang stated that Mokgwathi’s resignation has been accepted.

She remained cagey when quizzed on Mokgwathi’s reasons suspension from duty and at what stage was his case before his sudden resignation.

“I am not privy to the details of the case as it is a confidential matter,” she stated.

This year, the institution has slapped two of its directors with suspension letters over allegations of maladministration bringing to three the number of academic staff suspended for unrelated alleged transgressions this year alone. Director of Academic Services Motsei Rapelana is one of them and this previously confirmed by UB’s Public Affairs Director, Mhitshane Reetsang.

Norris recently stated when quizzed on the speculation which is rife that UB is prone to various forms of corruption practices before his term and now and, he stated and confirmed that number of investigations are on-going to stem out maladministration and corruption. He further stated that this includes investigations on poor work ethics and incompetence.

“The University also has MoU with DCEC to train staff on ethical practices. Internal and external audits are being strengthened to detect malpractice,” he said at the time.

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