There was drama and confusion at the Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises (CSBSE) when a year old Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority made their maiden appearance.
The Chief Executive Officer Rose Seretse , board chairman Bernard Ndove and board member responsible for electricity Sydney Mogapi sang from a different hymn book as they contradicted it each. Differences between the trio started when they were asked about a waiver which was an instruction from a cabinet minister to the Board chairperson that a certain young businessperson must be given a trading license though he didn’t meet some requirements.
Seretse confirmed that they made the waiver and granted the business the license to operate while Mogapi said that the decision was overturned by the board and insisted that he has email communications showing that they vehemently rejected the offer. “Board chair has no power to do that and we advised him in that regard. It was just an overzealous on his part as the waiver didn’t satisfy the BERA Act,” he revealed.
Seretse insisted that the waiver was granted but Mogapi told the CSBSE that the CEO has a ‘foggy mind’ but when he was told that Seretse was right that the waiver was granted. “This is miscarriage of duties and is illegal to grant a license waiver when the board rejected it,” hit out Mogapi without a blink of an eye throwing the whole house into a fit of laughter.
Hardly a few hours after BERA appeared before the committee, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng took to his facebook and revealed the name of the business person from Tonota saying that he is the one who fought his battles to have the filing station opened. “He stood the test of time and crossed all the barriers. As his Member of Parliament, I will continue to support and continue to fight his battles, especially where I sense jealousy and sabotage, like I always do for our youth countrywide,” he hit out probably to the BERA Board.
He said any sensible leader should give support to a brave, young entrepreneur and thanked BERA Board and officials for eventually issuing Tebogo Nametsegang a license.
According to the report submitted to the CSBSE, the Chief Operations Officer was headhunted by the board chair instead of his post advertised, something that is against governance. Member of the committee Sethomo Lelatisitswe highlighted that since the seems to be no cohesion among the executive of BERA. “It seems you guys came with different information and are clueless about the BERA Act,” he said.
On the suspension of the executive board member Kenneth Kerekang, Seretse said that he was suspended on result of criminal proceedings against him.
P150 000 logo
CSBSE was informed that the BERA logo was designed by Heritage and there was no tender awarded and were initially paid P150 000 and expecting more payments. BERA CEO Seretse confirmed that they are investigating a matter in which one of their executive has done business with the energy regulator. “Yes there is an employee who is suspected to be doing some business with BERA and we are currently investigating the matter and Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has also chipped in,” she revealed, but refused to name the nature of the business the employer was doing nor his/her name.