Dithebe: BTO in chaos; that’s why I’m leaving!

SHARE   |   Monday, 19 September 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Dithebe: BTO in chaos; that’s why I’m leaving!

The outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Tourism Organisation Thabo Dithebe has described the working environment at the organisation as chaotic. Reappearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Committee, Dithebe said one of the reasons why he decided to tender his resignation was that BTO is in chaos. He was responding to the chairman of the PCSC Samson Moyo Guma who asked him if he can say that there is chaos at BTO. One of the reasons that made BTO to be in chaos, according to Dithebe, was because he was not in charge of the organisation but rather worked on instructions from the minister. “Yes and that is one of the reasons I decided to resign because I couldn’t work in such environment,” said Dithebe. On his relationship with Minister Tshekedi Khama who is his principal, he said that he was not happy working with him.
“He is too operational and literally running BTO. I asked them why they don’t turn it into a government department,” offloaded Dithebe who said that their role as management at BTO was just facilitation.

Asked if he was afraid of TK as Minister Khama is commonly called, Dithebe answered in negative but said he respected him.
One of the issues that irked him was when they undertook a restructuring exercise and presented to TK. The minister approved but later somersaulted and came up with his own which he tried to refuse but later accepted.  “There was a committee made up Blackbeard who by then was a junior officer, legal advisor Zibanani Hubona and Sally-Anne Follet-Smith and they made recommendations on who will be appointed to new positions,” he revealed, adding that it was the committee that recommended that Blackbeard be appointed executive manager. Blackbeard went ahead to sign the P17 m deal in Dubai though she was not yet the Executive Manager, and though she was not delegated by Dithebe. Blackbeard, who also appeared before PCSC, said that when she signed the Dubai was under the impression that she was already appointed executive manager. She was appointed on the 1st of September, three days after she signed the deal.

Blackbeard – the daughter to Botswana’s commissioner to United Kingdom Roy Blackbeard – was at pains to explain why she disregarded her CEO and dealt directly with Minister Khama. She defended herself for signing the multi million deal, as a junior officer; saying she had the impression that she was given the go ahead by Dithebe. In defence Dithebe said that he never instructed her to sign a contract, let alone the Dubai one as he was not aware of it. “I have never instructed her even to sign a half million contract so why should I allow her to sign such a big contract,” hit out Dithebe, who was sitting next to Blackbeard. He said Blackbeard disregarded the advice from their legal advisor Hubona, who in an email instructed her not to sign the contract.