Skeletons came out tumbling out of Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) closest before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies on Monday when the Executive Manager Jillian Blackbeard said that she was not aware of some of the contents of the P 17 m contract that she signed with GAFA Media - a travel and tours company in Dubai. When PCSB chairman Samson Moyo Guma asked her if she was aware that the contract she signed will run for five years not three years as she has earlier informed the committee, Blackbeard said she was not aware. “It was my mistake as I did not see the part which states that the contract will run until 2021,” she answered naively.
Put to her that she was not supposed to sign the contract as there was no resolution from the board to engage GAFA Media and that the Chief Executive Officer didn’t give the instructions to sign the deal. “I was under impression that the CEO gave me the instruction as he did not respond to the mail sent to him regarding the deal,” said Blackbeard. A member of PCSB Pius Mokgware put it to her that she signed the contract as Executive Manager yet she was not yet appointed to the position, hence rendering the deal illegal.
Blackbeard: I was under the impression that since the appointment letter said that with immediate effect so I was already occupying that position.
Mokgware: But the appointment letter was dated 1st of September 2016 yet you signed the Dubai deal on the 28th of August?
Blackbeard: That was my mistake sir to assume that I was already an Executive Manager before I received the letter.
Dr Phenyo Butale: But how did you know you will be appointed the Executive Manager before you were appointed to the position?
Blackbeard: I was informed that I will be appointed to the position.
Dr Butale: By whom?
Moyo Guma: I think it will be wrong to question her on that as she is not the appointing authority.