Sunday, September 20, 2020

Will Tshekedi, Khupe appoint the BTO CEO without the board?

Following the premature exit of Thabo Dithebe, it appears the troubled Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) is set to get a new Chief Executive in the not so distant future. 

BTO, a parastatal set up to promote Botswana as a premier tourist destination of choice has been paralysed because it has been running without a board of directors for the past several months. Media reports also indicate that there has been too much political interference from the current minister Tourism Tshekedi Khama who continues to take decisions that are normally reserved for the board. 

Dithebe was forced to prematurely end his work notice on Friday after it emerged that Tshekedi, deputy Permanent Secretary at Tourism Felix Monggae and another unnamed person at BTO secretly met and decided to send him home early. Dithebe’s three months work notice was to end in November 2016. 

Following Dithebe’s unceremonious exit last week Friday, by Sunday, BTO was already flaunting advertisement in the local media calling for interested individuals to fill up the post of Chief Executive and newly created Deputy Chief Executive Officer position.  

According to the revised BTO structure approved by Tshekedi in mid August 2016 the position of Deputy CEO is new. The structure shows existing positions, existing & regarded positions and new positions of which in count there are 32 existing positions and a combined 34 new and existing & regarded positions, totalling the positions at BTO to 66.

It has also emerged that the man placed at the helm of BTO as its Acting Board Chairman, Lawrence Khupe, will single headedly select the next CEO and Deputy. The beleaguered tourism agency currently does not have a Board as it awaits cabinet to meet next week and decide on the names that have been suggested. In the meantime, it has instructed suitable candidates to direct their applications to Khupe who is the sole existing board member of BTO. The revised structure was approved in the absence of a Board which currently has one member being the Acting chairman Khupe.   

Meanwhile The Telegraph was also informed early this week about a decision to appoint Zibanani Hubona as the acting Chief Executive Officer giving an indication that Khupe is likely to be the one appointing the substantive CEO in due course.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.