Thursday, July 9, 2020

Who is in-charge at BERA?

BY VICTOR BAATWENG

Established hardly two years ago through an act of parliament, ÔÇô the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) already finds itself in a snake pit.

This follows a strong opinion relating to the operations and issues of governance by the regulator’s auditors ÔÇô PWC.

Giving an account of audit and books records to the Auditor General for the financial year 2017/18ÔÇô PWC auditors are said to have noted that the executive board members of BERA were reporting directly to the Board hence by-passing the Chief Executive Officer ÔÇô Rose Seretse.

The auditors opine that the setup is not consistent with good corporate governance.

“Good corporate governance requires for all employees including executive board members to report to the Chief Executive Officer”, said the Auditor General ÔÇô Pulane Letebele.

In June 2018, Sunday Standard reported that a bad blood was boiling amid claims of corruption and maladministration at the authority. At the time, the BERA command was split into two warring camps. In one faction is the Chief Executive Officer Rose Seretse and Morotsi who have the backing of Board Secretary Yamikani Patson and Chairman Bernard Ndove while on the other camp is Executive Director Kenneth Kerekang(Petroleum), another Executive Director, Matsapa Motswetla, and (Monitoring and Inspection) who have the backing of part time Board member Jonathan Moseki.

Meanwhile hardly a few weeks after the Auditor General’s report, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security – Eric Molale has since suspended the BERA board.

Molale’s decision follows an initial independent investigation prompted by reports of alleged general misconduct, and breakdown of corporate governance at the Authority.

“While such reports have always been of great concern to the Minister, good governance required that the Minister’s decision be informed by an impartial due process”, read part of a press statement issued by the parent ministry of Energy.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.