Former Vice Chancellor of Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), Professor Hilary Inyang, has hit back at Assistant Minister of Education, Unity Dow after she accused him of unilaterally hiring and over paying foreign nationals, displaying frequent lapses in governance and refusing to cooperate with the BIUST council. Through a scathing statement released by The Global Union of Experts for International Development (GUEFIND), Prof Inyang accused Dow of rushing to make a groundless submission to parliament without verifying rumours by interviewing the BIUST leadership and other stakeholders within government.
In December last year, Dow told parliament that Prof Inyang resigned because he acted unlawfully by hiring foreign nationals without following the right procedures. She added that the foreign nationals were paid outside the approved organizational structures and accused Prof Inyang of frequent lapses in governance. In its statement, GUEFIND said its rebuttal was a compilation of information from public documents, internal reports, minutes of meetings and statements from current and departed BIUST staff members, “some of whom want the truth to be told to the benefit of BIUST stakeholders who have been systematically misinformed.”
The organisation also said it wanted to set the record straight and highlight the cancer of political interference that existed at BIUST. “Rumour-mongers worked with some internal detractors who could no longer uphold their mediocrity at BIUST, to destroy progress with the approval of the leadership of your Ministry,” read the GUEFIND statement.
The organisation accused Dow of endorsing rumours and reporting them as facts to Parliament without contacting Professor Inyang, former Council Chair- Serwalo Tumelo or even the Chancellor, former President Festus Mogae for verification. It added that the false allegations against Prof Inyang were made by disgruntled internal staff members, a few power-hungry members of the BIUST Council and their political collaborators. The organisation said Prof Inyang resigned because of the same reasons that were forwarded by his predecessors, mainly political interference.
“Prof Inyang resigned due to inappropriate interference by Boyce Sebetela. He linked with a few disgruntled internal staff members to undermine the BIUST Council Chairman, Tumelo and Prof Inyang,” read the statement.
GUEFIND cited Cynthia Sekga, the Council Secretary, and Godfrey Molefe-Director of Financial Services as staff members who connived with Sebetlela and relayed counter instructions to staff against instructions given by Prof Inyang.
“These counter instructions were endorsed by your Ministry. Even Mr. Shakie Kebashwele, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, who refused to succumb to the unjustifiable wishes of a trio of Council members, was terminated after the departure of Prof Inyang,” read the letter.
In response to Dow’s claims that Prof Inyang unilaterally hired foreign staff and overpaid them, GUEFIND said all employees were interviewed by an independent panel and approved by a Council Subcommittee, of which Prof. Inyang and Tumelo were not members. The organisation also accused Sebetlela of cancelling a commission of inquiry that was set to investigate harassment of foreign employees by security agents at BIUST.
“Sebetlela hurriedly convened a council meeting to cancel the commission of enquiry and subsequently promoted internal staff members who were alleged to have conspired as perpetrators of the attempted abduction of foreign staff,” he said. GUEFIND reminded Dow that great universities are not council-dominated as the responsibility of the council is simply to monitor the university’s performance.
GUEFIND is an informal union of international intellectuals, serving and former public servants, including cabinet ministers, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders. The objective of GUEFIND is to cultivate and spread the use of knowledge to improve governance, enlightenment and socio-economic development of society. GUEFIND is a non-partisan, non-political and non-religous organisation but upholds the principles of equity, fairplay, freedom of thought and intellectual courage.