Friday, January 22, 2021

Shashe Brigades Coordinator implicated in conflict of interest allegations

Allegations of maladministration and financial misappropriation continue to mount amid revelations that the Coordinator of Shashe Brigade, Wycliffe Majani, is a key shareholding director of Belvans Institute located at the mouth of Tonota Village.

This followed a story published in The Sunday Standard to the effect that, “Corruption allegations at Shashe Brigade gain momentum”. It was stated then that the Brigade may be on the brink of collapse since Majani and some colleagues in the Board of Governors were alleged to have sold vital assets of the institution without the Community, which apparently owns the Brigade.

Around the same time, rumours flew high that the Coordinator was suspended following misunderstandings emanating from his failure to declare his interest as the owner of Belvans Institute.

Badiredi Phampa, Regional head of the Department of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), which is the current overseer of brigades in the northern area of the country, admitted they were aware of the allegations.

“However, we are unable to make any resourceful comment as it is outside our mandate to share on the matter,” said Phampa, adding that they were due to send the report of the investigation his team carried out on the allegations, to the Director of DVET Bosele Radipotsane.

Radipotsane acknowledged having instructed the Northern Office to investigate the allegations, but was cautious not to preempt the outcome of the investigation.

There is fear that the takeover of the Shashe Brigade, which was preliminarily set for May 2010, could be seriously jeopardized by any adverse findings from the investigation.

Geoffrey Matswa, spokesperson for Trainers and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), said, “We are aware of the allegations about what is going on at the Brigade, but we can only tread with trepidation while still awaiting the true story to come out and then objectively analyze the implications.”

The Sunday Standard has been inundated with calls to the effect that Majani’s statement that the Brigade is operating on borrowed funds prompted the staff and other interested people to link his alleged failure to declare his stake in Belvans with the murky situation that the institute finds itself in.

After a number of attempts trying to get hold of the Coordinator to hear his side of the story, we called Belvans Institute to trace him, but all efforts hit a snag as one of the employees there purporting to be the Training Manager, Nedioth Ncube denied any knowledge of Majani, and categorically disputed the fact that he is the owner of the school.

To add salt to injury, information unearthed by the Sunday Standard shows that the latest filed returns as at the time of going to print placed Wycliffe Mukenye Majani and Tshepiso Majani as the only two 50/50 shareholders and directors of Belvans Incorporated Enterprises PTY (LTD), which owns Belvans Institute.

Three other directors, Ugandan and Zambian and another (who both with the coordinator’s wife were the only two Batswana) have since resigned.

Only time will tell how much of a baggage Government may be assuming through absorption of Brigades, on the one side and the fate of the many workers who toiled and invested their labour in the life of the many brigades already taken as well those set for the takeover.

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