Friday, July 30, 2021

Zibanani Hubona appointed acting chief of BTO

Following the cascading developments at the Botswana Tourism Organisation which saw Thabo Dithebe being unceremoniously dropped as CEO, fresh information has surfaced that BTO Head of Legal Counsel and Board Secretary Zibanani Hubona has been appointed acting Chief Executive Officer.

This development took place after the immediate former BTO CEO Thabo Dithebe’s resignation notice period was cut short this past Friday by both the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama and acting BTO Chairman Lawrence Khupe.

The decision to appoint Hubona comes at a time when Government through the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises has subpoenaed Tshekedi Khama to appear before the committee for the second time to answer for alleged illegal decisions he made at Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) led by Thabo Dithebe then.

The BTO top post fell vacant recently after the sudden and unexpected resignation of Dithebe, which has plunged the already ailing tourism industry under a welter of further confusion and uncertainty. The situation at BTO is made worse by the fact that the parastatal does not have a Board of Directors.

Amongst other pending issues is the direct appointment of Asuia as service provider for inbound insurance for Botswana which was not tendered for, but was approved by Khama. 

“In the absence of a quoarate to consider the Asuia approval, you are accordingly instructed to implement instruction, inclusive of the directly appointing Asuia as a service provider for inbound insurance under the terms and conditions stipulated in the existing contract, save for any reference to BTO board approval,” reads the letter signed by Tshekedi Khama to the then BTO CEO Dithebe, dated 8th February 2016.       

Speculation is also rife that Dithebe’s notice period was cut short as he was not wanted as part of the interviewing panel to indentify the next BTO CEO. When quizzed over the appointment of Hubona as acting Chief, minister Khama stated that, “It will be announced shortly”. 

The Telegraph can however reveal the formal notification communicated to members of staff at BTO that Zibanani Hubona is the new BTO acting CEO.

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