SPEDU CEO suspended

SHARE   |   Monday, 05 December 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Dr Mokubung Dr Mokubung

The situation at Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) is moving from bad to worse with Government suspending the Chief Executive Officer Mokubung Mokubung this week. The grounds for his suspension were not immediate clear. There are suspicions that he might have been suspended over the procurement of some tenders, especially the Platjaan Bridge construction project and for the advertising tender which has been given to Incepta. The engagement of Incepta Advertising Agency is said to have not sat well with the Communications Manager Keleabetswe Punah Molebatsi who was not consulted when the company was engaged. The rebranding of SPEDU caused a furore in Parliament recently when the MP for Selebi-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse wanted to know what it entailed and the value it added. The rebranding cost P1.4 million. Mokubung had been on a month long sick leave after he collapsed during the appearance before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises. After his hospitalisation at Bokamoso Hospital, Mokubung had hinted to his close allies that he wanted to jump as there were too much political appointees and interference which were hindering him from executing his mandate. The suspension comes after the corruption bust agency Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigators raided the SPEDU offices last week taking with them some files. Mokubung previously worked as Director of Competition and Research Analysis at Competition Authority. He holds a PhD in Technology and Innovation Management from the University of Manchester, a Master of Philosophy in Monetary Economics from the University of Glasgow as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics from the University of Botswana.

DCEC blocks interview of MP’s wife
DCEC investigators are said to have arrived at the SPEDU when the Human Resources personnel was about to interview a wife of a local MP for the position of community facilitation officer. The recruitment of the woman has raised eyebrows with HR department worried that she doesn’t have the required qualifications. The interview, which was scheduled for last Friday, was abruptly cancelled and SPEDU had to reimburse her transport costs.

HR and PR managers reinstated
Two weeks ago Communications manager Molebatsi tendered resignation from the company without giving any reasons. Inside sources said Molebatsi was frustrated after being side-lined when decisions were taken on issues that affected her department. One of the developments that is said to have pushed her out was the appointment of Incepta Advertising Agency without being consulted. Last week SPEDU executives are said to have begged her to reconsider and she obliged. Mokubung and his executive are said to have been instructed by Minister Seretse to lift the suspension of Human Resources Manager Sydney Mmopele whose greatest sin was to question plans to appoint the MP’s wife as Community Facilitation officer.

Seretse confirms Dr Mokubung’ suspension
In an interview with this publication the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse confirmed that Mokubung has been suspended but refused to give reasons for the suspension. “Yes, I can confirm that he has been suspended but cannot state reasons,” he said. At the time of going to press, both DCEC and SPEDU were yet to respond to the questions sent to them.