As the battle to appoint the new Executive Director at the Botswana National Youth Council reaches new fever heights, the Board Secretary, Chomie Letlole, has requested the office of the Vice President Ian Khama to intervene.
In a letter to Khama, Letlole accused the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, together with Deputy Permanent Secretary, Tiki Pule, of meddling in the administrative affairs of the Youth Council.
The standoff between the board and executive management has been running for months. As a result, it is reported that morale among staff has deepened.
The financial situation of the Council has also deteriorated.
The face-off has also meant that the programme of the Council has been disrupted as shown by a failure to form District Youth Councils that were envisaged across the country.
Specifically Pheto is accused of trying to hand pick his favourite for the position of BNYC Director.
The position fell vacant when Falcon Sedimo left. Letlole wrote an official letter to the Vice President saying it was time for intervention.
He blamed the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs of interference and meddling and said, as a result of the Ministry’s interference, the Board of BNYC, appointed in May, had been unable to carry out their duties.
He further charged that the Ministry had been holding meetings with the management and staff without notifying either the Secretary General or the Board.
“The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Moeng Pheto, has gone to the extent of directing the then director to run workshops in two wards of his constituency, being Kopong and Sojwe, using council funds for unbudgeted activities, again without consulting the Board.”
The letter continued, “The minister through his Deputy Permanent Secretary, Tiki Pule, is said to have convened a meeting in which we were told that the ministry was so concerned about the slow pace of the board in employing the director, and the deputy permanent Secretary clearly told us that the ministry has a very strong interest in the employment or the recruitment of the BNYC.”
Letlole noted that the board was told that the ministry would engage a recruitment company to employ the BNYC director.
“With the ministry seeing that my office does not entertain its interference, the minister (Pheto) phoned me and told me that if we would not go his way, he would be forced to withhold the BNYC grant.”
Letlole told the Vice President that the anticipated formation of District youth councils could not be achieved countrywide, as the funds that were to be used were not available due to financial constraints. These constraints, Letlole said, could only be attributed to the minister’s interference.
“The minister wants to handpick the person to be Director of BNYC,” said the Letlole.
He said, as a board, what they had observed was that everything was out of hand as management and staff no longer paid any respect to the board.
Instead, management had transferred their allegiance to the Ministry officials who are now running the show.
“With this interference by the ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, in particular the minister, the deputy permanent secretary and the acting director of Culture and Youth, the organization’s operations are at a stand still.”
Letlole also pointed out that BNYC management staff had a tendency to visit the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs offices, neglecting District Offices and this had had a negative effect on productivity.