Thursday, August 5, 2021

RIPCO Managing Director leaves under a cloud

Ketsiso Morei’s reign as managing director of Rural Industries Promotions Company (RIPCO) has ended following the board’s decision not to renew his contract, the board Chairperson, Neo Mokgwathi, has stated.

Just recently, the director was probed by a local law firm, Dingake and Partners, following allegations of impropriety.

RIPCO is a government owned company set up to promote rural industries and affordable technologies.

Among others, Morei was alleged to have been drawing a housing allowance despite staying in a subsidized house.

Information passed to this paper is that a disciplinary committee appointed by the board of directors made a recommendation for Morei to be fired.

Two other RIPCO employees, including the whistleblower, were slapped with warnings letters.
The whistleblower, who is the Human Resources Director, was found guilty of having taken too long to report allegations of impropriety.

“We did establish that policy had not been followed on a number of issues and we did summon three employees to seek explanation on these issues,” said Mokgwathi in an interview with the Sunday Standard.

The outgoing managing director was accused of allowing staff members to en-cash their leave days against company rules. He also faced charges of failing to pay tax for the company vehicle which had been allocated to him for work and personal use.

There was also an issue surrounding a questionable promotion of a certain staff member.

However, Mokgwathi denied that there was a recommendation for Morei to be fired following the probe and disciplinary hearing.

Mokgwathi said that if anything the organization and Morei had a mutual agreement to part ways.

“We did speak to him, but what I can say is that the managing director was not fired but his contract was not renewed,” said Mokgwathi.

She also revealed that the board has appointed Truman Phuthego as the new managing director.

Phuthego has worked as head of research and development which happens to be the organisation’s core business.

Phuthego will serve as managing director at least up to the time RIPCO merges with Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC).

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