The University of Botswana Student Representative Council has recalled its president, MacDonald Rakgare, after suspending him indefinitely pending disciplinary hearing.
Despite the SRC vice president, Nico Selobilwe, having denied the matter on previous confrontations, saying that as far as the SRC is concerned they are united and working together, a letter that reached Sunday Standard had, however, confirmed the allegations.
The letter, dated 29th June 2009 and addressed to the SRC president, bore the subject: SUSPENSION OF THE SRC PRESIDENT, and it went on to state that the president is suspended indefinitely pending a disciplinary hearing.
The letter, which was signed by all except three council members, stated that the president is suspended because the SRC took a resolution to take the MoE to court, a decision upheld by every council member in a meeting held on 22nd June 2009 and of which the SRC president was part of.
Said the letter: “Contrary to this decision you, on Monday the 29th June 2009, on your 1300hrs to 1500hrs show on Yarona FM, uttered contrary sentiments to our agreement to the extent of you alleging that you do not agree with the SRC and stating that you are not taking the Ministry to court as per the agreement. The agreement was taken in your presence and other SRC members were shocked to learn that you shared different sentiments when in the media.”
The letter went on to refer to article 22.5 (vi) of the SRC constitution saying the president is suspended indefinitely with immediate effect pending his disciplinary hearing. The letter further states that he shall be alerted of the place and date of his disciplinary hearing.
The recent development, however, reveals that the SRC president has been reinstated and, according to Rakgare, there was a reconciliation meeting on Wednesday in which the SRC apologized for its decision.
Rakgare said “Things have been settled and they did apologize,” said Rakgare. “We are working together as a united team now.”
He also expressed gratitude over the UB SRC winning their case against the Ministry of Education, in which they challenged the MoE’s decision to terminate sponsoring students during winter vacation.
“We are very happy and we are still fighting the issue of living allowance reduction to P1400. We have so far consulted with SRCs of other private institutions and we are planning something massive.”
The UB SRC vice president, Selobilwe, declined to comment on whether they had ever suspended the SRC and whether they had reinstated him, rather saying, “We are working together to meet the minister to negotiate on the reduced allowance. We will seek legal advice if the negotiations fail but we don’t rule out the possibility of meeting the Vice President and Minister of Finance for a way out.”