Minister Dow misled parliament- GUEFIND

SHARE   |   Sunday, 15 February 2015   |   By Guefind

DIRECT RESPONSES TO YOUR SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS AT THE BOTSWANA PARLIAMENT

In the following paragraphs, GUEFIND has responded point-by-point, to the allegations that you, a prominent member of the Botswana legal community and Hon. Assistant Minister made at the Botswana Parliament against the previous BIUST Vice Chancellor and his administration
without prior verification of your information. The documents that are cited herein are public
documents and are obtainable as indicated, from Mr. Serwalo Tumelo- the former BIUST Council
Chair, Ms. Cynthia Obolokile-Sekga, the BIUST Council Secretary, the Office of the Permanent
Secretary of your Ministry, current BIUST staff members who served in the former Vice
Chancellor’s Cabinet and others who continue to serve in the BIUST Academic Senate. As earlier
stated, must of them can be downloaded from our GUEFIND website www.guefind.org.
B.1. Your claim: that “the resignation of the VCs were influenced by their unlawful conduct as
some non-citizens staff were brought into the country for employment at BIUST without
following procedures and indeed the applicable laws governing engagement of noncitizens”
, and that “those people worked without the necessary permits and were
employed and paid outside the BIUST Council-approved organizational structures”.
•Response by GUEFIND
B.1.a This claim is untrue. During the administration of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang and Council
Chairmanship of Mr. Serwalo Tumelo at BIUST, no foreigner was employed as a regular BIUST
employee without following the regular processes of position advertisement, interview by a panel
that was never selected by Prof. Hilary I. Inyang, approval by a Council Subcommittee of which
Prof. Inyang and Mr. Tumelo were not members, and application to Immigration and Labour
agencies. For short-term/visiting/interim appointments of 12-months duration which are not
usually advertised, applications were also made to the Botswana Immigration and Labour agencies
with follow-up when required. Documentary evidence is available. See Document B15 at our
website (www.guefind.org).
This false allegation which was previously made and responded to by BIUST Management
was previously addressed by Council. A few internal staff members such as Ms. Cynthia Sekga and
Mr. Godfrey Molefe who sought positions that they were not qualified for, generated this rumour
and planted hostilities against some foreign staff members at BIUST.
B.1.b This false claim was also made in February, 2014 along with other claims that all
Directors hired by Prof. Inyang (a United States citizen of Nigerian birth who lived since his teenage
years in the United States) to regular positions at BIUST were Nigerians. BIUST had to refute this
false allegation publicly on television and in print (see page 4 of the Sunday Standard of March 9 –
15, 2014 entitled “BIUST Moves Swiftly to Dispel Perceptions of BIAS”). It turns out that Prof.
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Inyang never hired a single Nigerian as a Director or Professor or any other higher regular
academic or administrative rank during his tenure as the BIUST Vice Chancellor. That false
allegation came close in irrational thinking, to a belief that President Barack Obama would favour
Kenyans over others in the United States just because his father was a Kenyan or that former
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, USA would favour Austrians because he was born
in Austria.
C.1.b A complete rebuttal of this allegation which you have repeated is entitled “Response
to Claims of Mismanagement, Bias and Corruption at BIUST Claimed by a Few Council Members”.
This rebuttal was authored by BIUST Management, discussed fully at BIUST Council, and submitted
in person by Mr. Serwalo Tumelo and Prof. Hilary I. Inyang to the leadership of your Ministry in
March, 2014. At the meeting in your Ministry, that document was discussed point-by-point.
Present in that meeting was Mr. Lucky Moahi – your Ministry’s representative in the BIUST
Council, as well as the former Hon. Minister of Education and Skills Development. Could you please
submit a copy of that document to the Parliament that you briefed so that the allegations can be
cleared? With humility, we thank you in anticipation of your decision to grant this modest request
of seeking independent investigation of the circumstances at BIUST without which the problems
there will be both cyclical and epileptic.
B.1.c Concerning the Management structure of BIUST, please note that one of the reasons that
Botswana Government funds had been wasted on BIUST without commensurate achievements
prior to the arrival of Prof. Inyang and Mr. Tumelo was the bastardization of the Management
structure to serve the interest and job preferences/responsibilities of the particular individuals
that generated the false reports to you. That appropriate structure that was recommended by an
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) study of 2009 which was sponsored by
the Government of Botswana, was re-configured by internal staff and their collaborators in Council
who preferred a weak Management structure that they could dominate with little concern about
institutional progress while they turned around and blamed the incompetence of Management
before Prof. Inyang’s arrival. Throughout their tenure at BIUST, Mr. Tumelo and Prof. Inyang
confronted this interest in their bid to get Council to focus on important strategic issues and leave
management issues to a strengthened BIUST Management.
In August, 2013, as documents can show, Prof. Inyang inherited a BIUST Administration that
was incapable of developing a strategic plan, campus master plan (that had no analytical content),
no operational Senate, no approved SRC constitution, no communication policy, frequent faculty
absenteeism from classes per student complaints, use of BSc degree holders to teach BSc students,
teaching assistants who were on 3-6 months contracts with no continuity, and written complaints
by students who had no qualified teachers in some basic but important courses.
Even the teaching staff met with Prof. Inyang and submitted a similar list of deficiencies,
most of which were driven by the existence of about 60% staff vacancies in teaching,
administrative and research positions. Besides, purchased equipment was lying waste without use
and as a whole, the existing faculty even with very low teaching loads, had little or no research
capacity. In August, 2013, the 2013/2014 academic year was to open in two weeks but it would
take 8 months to complete each regular hiring process for foreign staff. We suspect that BIUST
under new Management, is facing this same problem for the 2014/2015 academic year. How
would students be taught and key administrative tasks performed without emergency response?
Within a few weeks of his arrival, Prof. Inyang and his immediate staff recognized that due
to staff vacancies, BIUST reputation would fall and retroactive review of its academic programmes
by agencies after four sessions, would lead to denial of international accreditation. This would be
the case in spite of the fact that BIUST had assembled some of the best students in Southern
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Africa, mostly from Botswana secondary schools. His Management team prioritized the policies
and guidelines that were to be developed within 15 months, published them and proceeded to
implement them concurrently.
Consistent with the original design of BIUST to support entrepreneurship and high-level
skills development for Botswana and elsewhere, Prof. Inyang with the support of the Chancellor
and the Council Chair – Mr. Serwalo Tumelo also initiated and implemented a painstaking process
of meeting with major industries and agencies of Botswana to catalog their analytical needs and
frame collaborative programs with deliverables and schedules. Examples are the Department of
Research, Science and Tech (DRST) in August 2013; Botswana Power Corporation on March 6,
2014; Botswana Telecom Corporation on March 7, 2014; Debswana on March 11, 2014; BOCCIM
on March 12, 2014; Morupule Coal Mine on March 18, 2014, BCL on March 21, 2014, BITC on April
9, 2014 and MASCOM on April 9, 2014. Modalities for technical collaboration to improve the
economy of Botswana were worked out and agreed to. Prof. Inyang noted the academic and
administrative staff requirements for meeting the industrial targets in terms of research, students’
education, policy support and entrepreneurship identified in the several meetings listed in our
website www.guefind.org in Document B8.
B.1.d BIUST was also poor at the administrative level, with many staff members, including senior
ones, devising schemes to delay the move of the University from Oodi to Palapye. Requests for
documents and explanations on matters sent to BIUST by your Ministry were habitually answered
late or not at all, mostly because the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor who ran the institution
before Inyang’s arrival was frequently absent from his duties and did not even retain an
administrative secretary. Faced with these difficult circumstances, Prof. Inyang and his senior staff
decided to utilize a clause in the BIUST Statutes that allowed Special/Interim/Visiting
appointments to be made to address the emergency staffing needs. Relevant provisions of the
BIUST Act, BIUST Statutes and other provisions that do not violate any Botswana law are stated for
the umpteenth time below on each specific aspect of the false allegations that you submitted to
the Botswana Parliament.
Being that those who sought to use the false allegations that you have stated about
employment of staff into non-approved structure to dislodge Mr. Tumelo as the BIUST Council
Chair and frustrate Prof. Inyang into resigning have continued to maintain that false claim, the
legitimate actions that Prof. Inyang took on the issue of BIUST staff employment are correctly
summarized below. Regarding the particular elements of that secret plot, indications of which
were uncovered in an anonymously leaked cabinet memorandum that was written about in the
Botswana newspapers, Mr. Serwalo Tumelo who was the subject of that verifiable memo that
wrongly accused him of wrongdoing, has vowed to seek redress on his reputation per his
constitutional rights, more so, as a citizen of Botswana who has spent a career of more than 30
years to help build the socio-economic stability of Botswana.
•Administrative Structure: The 2009 AUCC study which was sponsored by the Government of
Botswana to structure BIUST and is documented in several volumes that the BIUST Council
Secretary can transmit to you electronically, produced a structure that is very similar to that of
Prof. Inyang’s Administration. Before his Administration, BIUST consisted of 2 Colleges with a few
Departments at Oodi. Upon his arrival, BIUST expanded to 4 colleagues and a post-graduate school
with the approval of the BIUST Senate and BIUST Council. Obviously, the structures to support a
small operation at Oodi and a much larger operation at Palapye as required to satisfy the BIUST
mandate are not the same. This was anticipated by the original planners of BIUST. More boldly, the
AUCC recommendations of 2009 (Academic, Organizational, and Human Resources Framework
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Design Project for BIUST – sow.12: Proposed Strategic and Operational Plans and Budgets) includes
the following comments on page 21 regarding the BIUST organizational framework:
• “However bold its vision, however talented its faculty and gifted its students, however
dedicated its staff, however committed its leadership, a university can only succeed if its
administrative practices are efficient, transparent and fully supportive of its core mission.
BIUST will therefore have to establish and regularly review its administrative
expenditures, policies, structures and processes to ensure that it fulfils its primary
mission with a view to being recognized within Botswana and Africa as a leader in this
area.”
On page 33 it is further recognized that:
• “In terms of organisational framework, structures of BIUST will need to be reviewed from
time to time to ensure that they remain appropriate to current challenges and plans of
BIUST. BIUST should also ensure that all executives, directors and managers have clear
roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. It will also ensure that every one of them has
a clear reporting line and that they each take full responsibility for their own
performance, as well as the performance of their subordinates. Committees can provide
advice but ultimately, individuals must be held accountable for decisions. Most
importantly, BIUST will have to maintain a structure in which important strategies have
dedicated managerial oversight.”
It is important that the original BIUST vision that targets international excellence as a
research-focused institution not be derailed despite the constraining adjustments that were
warranted by the global economic downturn that evolved in 2008. That circumstance has receded,
and Botswana now faces the challenge of national economic diversification of which BIUST is
supposed to be an enabler. See the programmes that Prof. Inyang and his BIUST Administration
devised with broad consultations, to achieve this mission in Document B5. No member of Council
can conscientiously pretend not to have approved that document.
In spite of the recognition of structural adaptation stated above, Prof. Inyang and Mr.
Tumelo never unilaterally altered the 2011 structure. After internal consultations with his staff and
students, your Ministry (meeting with Hon. Minister Venson-Moitoi), Mr. Sebetela, -Deputy
Council Chair at the foyer of Grand Palm Hotel in Gaborone (mid-September, 2013), and others, he
developed a document entitled “the Institutional Performance Indexing System and Balance Score
Card of BIUST” in October 15, 2013, wherein the quantitative performance targets and the
structure proposed to achieve them were expressly stated. See the document which is presented
as Document B4 at our website (www.guefind.org ) with the structure on page 21. This document
was presented to the full BIUST Council on October 30, 2013, fully discussed and approved on that
date. This meeting was held at the Majestic 5 Hotel in Palapye. The only suggestion that Mr.
Sebetela made was to include quantitative terms for student evaluations. This was done.
Prof. Inyang and Mr. Tumelo have not approved the hiring of staff outside that structure.
That structure includes the positions of Associate DVCs including a Provost, Deans of Colleges, etc.
it is also worthy of note that budget documents that were developed by the Prof. Inyang’s BIUST
Administration under very strict MOESD – specified deadline had detailed task descriptions and
the structure that was approved by Council were approved in the budget documents by the Audit
and Finance Committee of Council before budget approval by the full Council and subsequent
submission to MOESD. Copies are available in your Ministry for review.
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An untruthful allegation has been made that the position of Provost was created by Prof.
Inyang when he came to BIUST. The Provost position was recommended by AUCC in 2009, created
by Kweku K. Bentl in September, 2009. See the document “A Framework for Development of BIUST
by Prof. Kweku Bentl, September 2009, page 73. In there is the designation “Provost (Senior
Deputy Vice-Chancellor). Furthermore, a full page advertisement of vacancies by BIUST in the
Chronicle of Higher Education on April 24, 2009 (way before Prof. Inyang’s hiring by BIUST in
August, 2013), page A-50 prominently lists the position of Provost-Senior Deputy VC for Academic
Affairs. This information is Document B7 at our website www.guefind.org Again, facts should have
been checked with Mr. Serwalo Tumelo and Prof. Hilary I. Inyang before presentation of false
rumours to Parliament as facts.
•Interim Appointments: From the foregoing explanations, it was very clear that without special
appointments (Short-term, Visiting, Interim and Sabbatical appointments), BIUST would not be
capable of preparing adequately to move on schedule, from Oodi to Palapye, or even deliver on
requests for documents frequently made by your Ministry, or administer/teach courses effectively,
or minimize institutional accreditation risks, or respond effectively to audit queries that stem from
the previous Administration, or prevent pre-emergence poor ranking of BIUST or even set up to
diversify the revenue base to relief the load of full funding by your Ministry.
These issues were raised by the Vice Chancellor with analyses in two reports to Council
although a few Council members may now claim ignorance of it. Please refer to the “Vice
Chancellor’s Quarterly Report to Council-First Edition (covering August 1 – October 30, 2013); and
“Vice Chancellor’s Quarterly Report to Council-Second Edition (covering November 1, 2013 –
January, 2014). Both documents which can be downloaded from our website as Documents B10
and B11 respectively, were also submitted to your Permanent Secretary and your representative in
the BIUST Council – Mr. Lucky Moahi.
The BIUST ACT and its Statutes which were developed to conform to the laws of Botswana,
permit special appointments. The BIUST Statutes Part IX page 21 states:
•(39) “The Vice Chancellor may, in the event that he is satisfied that exceptional
circumstances require, and on the recommendation of any academic, support or other
unit of the University, appoint any person as a member of staff of the University for a
period of not exceeding twelve (12) months”
•(40) “Appointments made under this provision shall be reported periodically to the Staff
Appointments and Promotions Committees”
The provision is clear enough. Thus, BIUST used a combination of Interim/Acting
appointments, internal reassignment of staff and recall of Batswana BIUST Fellows to fill just some
of the 60% staff vacancies that existed. The majority of the Interim/Acting appointees who were
installed by Prof. Inyang’s Administration are Batswana. Your informants have chosen to hide this
fact in a “blame the foreigner syndrome”. Only 9 foreign Interim staff members were hired for
work for only 12 months out of total staff strength at BIUST that exceeds 150. How can such a
small number of short-term staff hired under guidelines, cause so much disruption at BIUST? Of
the more than 400 staff members that BIUST would require to operate in Palapye as an
international university, only about 35 Interim appointments were ever going to be made, and
those appointments would be short-term and intended to initiate programmes.
Furthermore, per the lists provided by Prof. Inyang and Mr. Serwalo Tumelo to your
Ministry; briefings to His Excellency; presentations to full Council and the Public, 45 Batswana who
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were sent abroad under Government sponsorship were identified by the Prof. Inyang BIUST
Administration, contacted in a process of bringing them back to provide the highly needed skills to
Batswana through BIUST. Already, during his leadership of BIUST, he brought back 6 of these BIUST
Fellows to join the staff at BIUST. Why did this fact escape your remarks at Parliament while the
focus lay on the few temporary foreign staff that he brought to BIUST as well?
Concurrently, implementation guidelines for interim appointments were also developed with
the draft edition produced and submitted to the Office of the Vice Chancellor by the same Council
Secretary Ms. Cynthia Sekga who subsequently campaigned against interim foreign appointees,
even with the knowledge that Visiting/ short-term/sabbatical appointments are standard practice
at universities worldwide. A contribution to the second edition of the BIUST Interim Appointment
Guidelines was transmitted by the Council Secretary to the Vice Chancellor with an email dated
July 6, 2014 at 7.28pm. By consensus, that guideline was revised, discussed and approved by the
BIUST Senate as the BIUST Interim/Special Appointment Guidelines. Copies were submitted to
BIUST Council for noting. By BIUST Council rules, BIUST Council must approve all policies but not
Management guidelines otherwise, BIUST institutional leadership would just be a Secretariat.
The BIUST Interim Appointments Guidelines (please review a copy at our website
www.guefind.org loaded as Document B6), was submitted to the Immigration and Labour
Department and discussed to their satisfaction at meetings with the Central District Immigration
Board in the VC’s Conference Room in Palapye on September 15, 2014 and at a meeting in
Gaborone on September 18, 2014 by Mr. Serwalo Tumelo (BIUST), Prof. Hilary I. Inyang (BIUST),
Mr. Shakie Kebaswele (BIUST), Mr. Bagopi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and
Home Affairs; Ms. Sennanyana – the Commissioner of Labour and Mr. Mabuse, The Director of
Immigration. At both meetings, it was understood that Interim appointments were temporary and
that relevant applications and appeals had been lawfully made for the cases that involved initial
denials of permits.
The work applications for the 9 foreign BIUST Interim staff members were granted as early as
September 20, 2014. Where does your submission to the Botswana Parliament on December 7,
2014 about “unlawful conduct” and “as some non-citizens staff were brought into the country for
employment at BIUST without following procedures and indeed the applicable laws governing
engagements of non-citizens” come from? The labour laws of Botswana cover appeals processes.
No employee of BIUST was given final denial and was allowed to stay on and work at BIUST. Hon.
Minister, would you please then confront the originators of this costly falsehood including Ms.
Cynthia Sekga and Mr. Charles Maruza who still work at BIUST as untouchable employees and
wear their nationality as qualifications?
•Claimed Salary Disparity between Foreign and Domestic Staff: The claim that the former Vice
Chancellor of BIUST employed foreign staff and gave them excessive salaries is a blatant lie that
has been spread by the Council Secretary and the Director of Financial Services clandestinely. The
Council Secretary led a campaign to promote this false rumour and contacted Mr. Serwalo Tumelo,
the former Council Chair in August, 2014 to promote this self interest. Mr. Tumelo appropriately
and promptly ignored these malicious rumours. The facts are reported below.
At the time of the interim appointments, BIUST was working on a University Pay Structure
for submission to Council. The initial survey of peer institutions that was conducted by the
previous BIUST Administration and submitted by Delloitte through the BIUST Director of Human
Resources, to the VC was not structured for a modern university. It used the Perrones scales that
are configured for agencies and corporations but lacks relevance to academic institutions that
must focus on productivity in terms of research, teaching effectiveness and contribution to
economic development. Besides, administrative staff at certain levels, were to be paid at higher
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levels than seasoned academicians of professorial rank. The Vice Chancellor refused to endorse
that recommendation and set up a committee comprising representatives from Human Resources,
Senior Academic Staff, Junior Academic Staff and himself to review the report, re-align salaries and
duties to the BIUST mission, and submit the revised document to the internal Cabinet, and the
Executive Leadership Team for approval before its submission to the BIUST Council. Did any of the
rumour mongers make reference to the process outlined above?
There was no differentiation in the basic pay structure between foreign and citizen
employees of BIUST except in those cases in which Botswana laws provide additional benefits as
appropriate, to Batswana. Being that all interim and acting appointees (foreign and Batswana) had
started their work prior to the completion of the new pay structure, the issue of their salaries was
addressed by reviewing pay ranges for existing staff positions using data supplied by the Payroll
Section of Human Resources Directorate and Directorate of Financial Services (those ranges have
been included by the Former DVC for Finance and Administration in his legal submission/claims in
connection with non-renewal of his contract by the BIUST Council). Salaries for all interim BIUST
Staff are within those ranges in consistence with their qualifications and irrespective of their
nationalities. This was the case for both citizen and non-citizen BIUST staff members, some of
whom received acting allowances consistent with existing BIUST HR rules. Incidentally, some of the
rumour-mongers were beneficiaries of those guidelines and approved policies. During his time as
the BIUST Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Hilary I. Inyang banned all discriminatory activities as required in
the BIUST statutes.
When Prof. Inyang arrived at BIUST, he never relieved any pre-existing staff of their
positions but sought to improve their capacities and performance through motivation and
engagement in institutional governance: VC’s cabinet, staff assembly, SRC meetings, etc. Batswana
who were on 3-6 months temporary appointments as teaching assistants and had protested for
months before his arrival, were converted to at least 12 months-appointments to increase their
job security. He specified and ensured that contractors who won bids employed a large fraction of
their staff from Botswana, particularly, the host communities of Palapye, Serowe and Mahalapye.
He instigated and approved the hiring of brigade workers in Serowe to help renovate temporary
facilities cost-effectively, with pay to support them and motivate them to take up the tentative
offers he was planning to give them to be trained at planned BIUST District, Technical Extension
Centres.
The originators of the alleged pay disparity in favour of foreigners (to promote nepotism
and xenophobia) are some staff members and Mr. Godfrey Molefe, the Director of Financial
Services who has been rewarded with elevation to the rank of Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor. In
spite of his very limited administrative experience. During the period of review of the
Immigration/Labour appeals for the 9 foreign interim staff members sometime in the August-
September, 2014 period, he refused to process their salary payments at the end of month for work
that they had already performed based on his personal determination that they were illegal. He
never sought direction from his bosses with the consideration that the Commissioner for
Immigration and Labour had given the Vice Chancellor some direction on how appeals were to be
processed. This kind of audacity by a mid-level staff member is unheard of in any credible
institution in any part of the world, and would definitely make damaging headlines about “BIUST
refusing to pay foreigners” and discourage qualified experts from coming to work at BIUST. Mr.
Molefe had to be persuaded by a threat of dismissal by Vice Chancellor Inyang who was then
overseas but communicated the instruction to him through Prof. Siginer, the Provost who acted
then as the Vice Chancellor in his absence.
Forced to comply with the Vice Chancellor’s instruction to him to pay the 9 foreign interim
staff members their salaries for work that they had done, Mr. Godfrey Molefe compiled a one13
page list of their names and monthly salaries for the Vice Chancellor to sign under the guise that
the bank needed the document in order to pay them. This list that exclusively contains the names
and salaries of the 9 foreigners to the exclusion of the Batswana (citizen) interim employees, has
apparently been circulated with the rumour that VC Inyang employed foreigners on high salaries
outside the structure of BIUST. Is this dubiosity to be condoned and supported by your Ministry?
Please note that the list that the rumour-mongers have circulated does not include the
names and salaries of all citizen and non-citizen interim/acting employees, their benefits,
academic qualifications, and acting allowances. The complete list should include the names of Mr.
Molefe and Ms. Sekga who were elevated to higher positions by Prof. Hilary Inyang on acting basis
and received their acting allowances according to the same guidelines. They should state the
acting allowances that they received and full housing that was meant for academic staff allowance
at 20% of basic salary that they still receive while occupying university housing at highly subsidized
rent (not arranged by Prof. Inyang).
For comparison with the real salaries of BIUST staff, 20% of the amounts listed in that
document should be subtracted to reach the real salaries of the foreign Interim Staff members, all
of whom are not eligible for most of the benefits that are provided by law to regular BIUST
employees. Deception that rides on xenophobia should be discouraged and should not be part of
proceedings at an international university. University such as University of Pretoria, Harvard
University, MIT, Oxford and other great universities that attract foreign students and staff,
including Batswana, do not wear xenophobic outlook.
B.2 Your assertion that “Of course when the Immigration and Labour authorities had wind of this
state of affairs, the relevant officers, in their normal course of duty and acting in accordance
with the relevant labour legislation, visited the university to investigate”. “This is what the
then Vice Chancellor referred to as “attempted abduction” of foreign staff, hence his so called
security concerns”.
•Response by GUEFIND
B.2.a Your assertion to the Botswana Parliament about the raid of the BIUST campus on
September 16, 2014 is very untrue. Those who misinformed you about that shameful incident
should be punished. Covering their corrupt acts up as well as whitewashing of inadequacies at
BIUST with a media and events campaign which have been recently noted, will eventually yield
negative results. Although there may be an initial delay, the true nature of things always floats to
the top. In the interest of the Botswana Parliament-the zenith of the goodwill and expression of
the aspirations of the people of Botswana who would certainly disapprove the actions of the
planners and the executors of the needless raid on an academic institution to intimidate and
possibly abduct foreign staff to satisfy the supremacy interest of a few staff members, one Council
member and their external collaborators, the facts are hereby presented.
We would have attached all the victim reports and eyewitness accounts (including those
written by Batswana) to this letter but we declined to do this because it would be embarrassing to
BIUST stakeholders and the good citizens of Botswana to read the damaging actions that specific
individuals took on their behalf. In any case, the set of available victim reports and eyewitness
account are available. In the transparent mode of BIUST operations, they had been compiled and
distributed to BIUST Cabinet members, and also submitted to your Ministry and the BIUST Council
as early as October 7, 2014. Unawareness cannot be pled on this. These accounts can be
downloaded from our website www.guefind.org as Document B16.
Details of the eyewitness accounts and victim reports were the basis for establishing the
Internal Commission of Enquiry into the incident to establish all facts by the Prof. Inyang-led BIUST
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Administration. Regrettably, the Acting Council Chair whom your Ministry appointed in early
October, 2014 after dismissing Mr. Serwalo Tumelo, hurriedly convened a Council meeting to
cancel the Internal BIUST Commission of Enquiry and subsequently promoted those internal staff
members who were alleged to have conspired as perpetrators of the attempted abduction of
foreign staff that they did not approve of.
Till date, the enquiry remains cancelled. Your Ministry blessed the cancellation of that
enquiry which involved suspension of the staff with pay, as allowed by the BIUST processes during
staff disciplinary investigations. Does this not qualify as the external intervention in BIUST
Management affairs that VC Hilary I. Inyang stated as one of the reasons for his resignation? Hon.
Minister, with all due respect, your Ministry has the full compendium of the reports on that
September 16, 2014 BIUST campus incident. With humility, we request that you submit it to the
DCEC, the relevant Committees of Parliament and independent non-governmental review teams
for review to verify the truth and punish the perpetrators.
B.2.b To provide you and other readers of this open letter with essential information on that
September 16, 2014 incident, relevant aspects of that incident are summarized sequentially below.
•Only nine (9) BIUST foreign interim/visiting/sabbatical employees were recruited and even at
that, for short-term appointments of no more than one year, with applications to the
Immigration/Labour agencies of Botswana as required by Botswana laws. There was no illegality or
unlawfulness that you have claimed at the Botswana Parliament about this process.
•Based on rumours generated by some internal BIUST staff members led by Ms. Cynthia Sekga,
the Director of Legal Services/Council Secretary, the Immigration Services initially denied the nine
foreign staff the required permits to continue the critical tasks that they were already performing
at BIUST to sustain academic and administrative operations. Copies of xenophobic letters that
were written by some BIUST staff members (a few when the high professional integrity and
excellence of most Batswana staff members are considered) are available and were submitted to
your Ministry as well as the current Council Chair-Mr. Bolele in a compendium.
•Following the rejection of the labour permits for the nine foreign BIUST staff, BIUST
Management under Prof. Hilary I. Inyang, followed the appeal process (see Document B15 at our
website www.guefind.org) that is provided for in the Botswana laws and met with senior
Labour/Immigration officials in Gaborone, all of whom were very helpful and happy to know that
the rumours and claims generated by the few disgruntled internal BIUST staff members, as well as
one former Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration whose contract at BIUST was
not renewed by the BIUST Council, were false. The initial meeting which was held in the
Immigration Department Office in Gaborone as early as June 23, 2014, involved Ms. Kesamang of
the BIUST Directorate of Human Resources, as well as Mr. Shakie Kebaswele of the BIUST
Directorate of Communications and Public Affairs. Prof. H. Inyang made a presentation to the
Immigration officers on the BIUST mission and how the nine temporary staff members fit into the
BIUST operational plan. The BIUST team was advised to involve the Central District Immigration
Board that is based in Serowe.
•At a follow-up meeting with Mr. Mabuse M. Pule-the Director of Immigration and Citizenship,
in his office in Gaborone on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Prof. Hilary I. Inyang and Mr. Shakie
Kebaswele moved to dispel the rumours about the Interim employees and informed the
Immigration officials that the appeals process was underway. Both parties promised to work
together to ensure that the status and needs of BIUST are considered in Immigration/Labour
application review processes. Prof. Inyang followed up with a letter dated August 13, 2014 to Mr.
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Mabuse Pule in which he thanked him for the collaboration and reported on the fruitful meeting
with the Central District Immigration Board’s leadership as recommended. That letter was copied
to several officials, including the Chairman of the BIUST Council Human Resources Committee-Mr.
Lucky Moahi who is also your representative on the BIUST Council. A copy of that letter is provided
in our website as document No. 5.
•Upon enquiry by the DCEC following rumours that were spread by Ms. Cynthia Sekga, the
Council Secretary about the “illegality of employment of foreign staff” at BIUST even when she
knew that the employees were temporary and their appeals which followed the process specified
by senior Immigration Officials in meetings, Prof. Hilary I. Inyang (the VC), Prof. Siginer (the
Provost), and Mr. Kebaswele (the Director of Communications and Public Affairs) met with DCEC
officials in Gaborone on July 31, 2014 to indicate that there were no illegal employees at BIUST.
They also addressed other wild rumours. Prof. Hilary I. Inyang followed that up with a detailed
letter of explanation dated August 8, 2014, to Ms. R.N. Seretse, and the DCEC Director-General.
•On August 12, 2014, Prof Hilary I. Inyang acting on behalf of BIUST Management, filed a more
comprehensive appeal entitled “Appeal for Reversal of Decisions on BIUST Work Visa Applications
for Special Employees” with attachment of the BIUST Senate-approved Interim Appointment
Guidelines. Again review Document B15. As required, the appeal was transmitted to the Hon.
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs. Copies were hand-delivered to your Permanent Secretary
and the BIUST Council Chair. A copy was also sent to the Chairman of the BIUST Council Human
Resources Committee-Mr. Lucky Moahi who is your representative on the BIUST Council.
•In the meantime, the few disgruntled staff members of BIUST who obviously had the support of
a few Council members who desperately wanted to unseat Mr. Serwalo Tumelo as the Council
Chair, continued their incivility toward the 9 foreign interim staff members but maintained
cordiality toward the Batswana interim staff members. In order to forestall the Labour and
Immigration Appeals process that the relevant agencies were processing at the time, the Council
Secretary/Legal Director of BIUST met with Mr. Tumelo, the BIUST Council Chair to complain about
“Illegal Foreign Employees” at BIUST without stating her displeasure at being changed as the Chief
of Staff in favour of one of the interim employees, mostly because she already held the dual
positions of Council Secretary and Director of Legal Affairs at BIUST.
•As previously stated, Mr. Godfrey Molefe, working with some external detractors of Mr.
Tumelo, paid the salaries of citizen interim employees but refused to pay the salaries of only the 9
interim employees until he was threatened with dismissal by Vice Chancellor Hilary I. Inyang. It
should be noted that this same Mr. Molefe was dismissed from BIUST for insubordination by Prof.
Kweku Bentl, a former Vice Chancellor of BIUST before Prof. Inyang’s time.
•On September 15, 2014, BIUST Management hosted the entire Central District Immigration
Board chaired by Mrs. Thobo Gloria Mapitse, in the Vice Chancellor’s Conference Room in Palapye.
The 10-member Board, including the Immigration Coordinator for Palapye, was there and resolved
issues and concerns related to the rumours that were being spread. Enquiries were made about
the case of the 9 interim employees and their rationalization. In the meeting was Mrs. Kesamang
of the BIUST Human Resources Directorate who confirmed that appeals for the 9 interim
employees had been filed with Immigration. This can be confirmed with Mrs. Thobo Mapitse, the
Chairman of the Central District Immigration Board.
•On September 16, 2014, realizing that the work permits appeals for the 9 foreign interim
appointees would be approved, the BIUST internal detractors and their external collaborators
decided to strike at the 9 foreign interim employees physically on the BIUST campus. Agents
16
passed through the BIUST campus gate without identification and came to the campus
administrative building. With the help of Mr. Godfrey Molefe of BIUST, they began to assemble the
9 American, Nigerian, Cameroonian and Irish interim staff. They refused to identify themselves and
threatened these foreign staff members without notification of the Provost who was on-site in his
office. Prof. Inyang, the Vice Chancellor, called in from the Sekgoma Hospital Work site in Serowe
where he was working on building renovations, to inquire about the “agents” identity but they
refused to talk to him and insisted on taking the foreign staff away to an unknown destination.
There was shameful commotion on the campus. Other foreign staff members who were not
in the office started hiding in case these activities were tied to terrorism and physical assertion of
power by the disgruntled BIUST internal staff. When contacted by BIUST at the time of the
incident, Ms. Mapitse, the Chair of the Central District Immigration Board who with her board had
resolved matters with BIUST the previous day, was shocked at the audacity of the agents and
appropriately informed BIUST that the visit was unauthorized and inappropriate. When the agents
were informed by Dr. Motlhabane and Mr. Kebaswele of BIUST that their raid on the BIUST
campus was illegal and besides, Labour/Immigration process documents were filed for the 9
foreign interim employees, the agents then apologized and left the campus after stating that they
had been deceived and misused. Again, eyewitness and victim accounts of this incident can be
downloaded from our website www.guefind.org as Document Compendium B16.
•On September 18, 2014 following the attempted abduction of foreign staff which was
generating turbulence within and outside Botswana (because the specific staff members contacted
their embassies), Mr. Serwalo Tumelo, the Council Chair, Prof. Hilary I. Inyang, the VC and Mr.
Shakie Kebaswele met with Mr. Bagopi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and
Home Affairs, Ms. Sennanyana-the Commissioner of Labour, Mr. Mabuse-the Director of
Immigration and other Ministry officials in Gaborone to explain again that the BIUST staff
members involved are visiting/interim/sabbatical staff who are at BIUST for no more than one
year; they are not illegal; they may not even want to stay in Botswana beyond one year because
they left higher paying jobs in America, Europe and Africa to help BIUST on a temporary basis to
jumpstart the institution in Palapye. They revealed the games played by the internal BIUST
employees and their external collaborators who were spreading false rumours. THE WORK
PERMITS WERE APPROVED. Your statement to the Botswana Parliament is shamefully incorrect
and regrettable.
•In view of the indiscipline, xenophobia and unscholarly attitudes and acts perpetrated by
specific staff members and allegations contained in the written complaints submitted to the Vice
Chancellor by the victims and eyewitnesses of the September 16, 2014 incident, the Vice
Chancellor- Prof. Hilary I. Inyang, who was the Chief Safety Officer of the Campus per the BIUST
Act, statutes and common sense, appropriately set-up an Internal Commission of Enquiry and
suspended the three BIUST staff members mentioned in the reports with pay pending the
conclusion of the internal investigation. This action was communicated to the BIUST Council as
well as your Permanent Secretary (MOESD). This action was also consistent with the approved
BIUST Terms and Conditions of Service dated March 28, 2011 which clearly states in clause 9.4.4
on Suspension Pending Investigation as follows:
•“The Vice Chancellor, Provost or Deputy Vice Chancellors may suspend an employee with
pay pending the outcome of any investigation”.
•“If employee is cleared of all allegations made against him or her, she or he will be
reinstated in his/her original job”.
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•The reports and complaints that served as the basis for the staff suspensions were transmitted
to the BIUST Council and submitted to your Ministry (directly by hand to your Permanent Secretary
Mr. Richard Matlhare and Mr. Lucky Moahi-your representative on the BIUST Council) at MOESD
Headquarters on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. Please obtain that compendium for your review and
establish whether you still characterize that September 16, 2014 incident as a “normal course of
action”? What were the agents investigating on-site at BIUST? Did they even ask for documents
there? Were they investigating the process that their superiors had specified earlier? This is rather
strange.
The agents came from the Palapye Immigration Office but their leader had been in the
meeting at BIUST the previous day during which the case of the 9 interim employees was resolved.
Please obtain that compendium for your review and kindly note letters dated October 8, 2014,
October 10, 2014 and October 13, 2014 from VC Hilary I. Inyang to Mr. Richard Matlhare; a letter
dated October 13, 2014 from Mr. Boyce Sebetela, the Acting Council Chair that your Ministry
installed as a replacement for Mr. Serwalo Tumelo, to Mr. Matlhare, your MOESD Permanent
Secretary.
•In the compendium cited above as Document B16 at our website, www.guefind.org which was
submitted to your Ministry as indicated, you may wish to read accounts and complaints written by
the following BIUST staff members of the time, most of whom have either resigned or have been
terminated from BIUST after Prof. Inyang’s departure: Ms. Patricia Espinoza of the USA (dated
Sept. 27, 2014); Mr. Shakie Kebaswele of Botswana (dated October 2, 2014); Mr. Nwafor Agunwah
of the USA (dated October 2, 2014); Mr. Moss Garde of Ireland (dated October 2, 2014); Prof.
Dennis Siginer of the USA (dated October 3, 2014); and Prof. John Stanfield of the USA (several
dates).
You may want to revisit the xenophobic letters written to Mr. Pule and others of the
Botswana Immigration Department by disgruntled BIUST personnel. Mr. Sebetela as an Acting
BIUST Council Chair and your Ministry leadership have not issued statements to discourage such
attitudes. Rather, those who instigated xenophobia at BIUST have been promoted, an action that
has continued into the present as seen in the unqualified promotion of Mr. B. Paya, a close friend
of Ms. Cynthia Sekga, to the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Development
although he does not have a Ph.D and has less than 12 months of experience in university
administration or university work of any type.
•Curiously, false rumours were now spread that Mr. Tumelo, the BIUST Council Chair at the
time, was supporting illegal employment at BIUST and that he himself had been assigned
Zimbabweans as servants. This was never raised officially in any of the numerous meetings with
your Ministry officials. How this could be used as the basis for his removal as the Council Chairman
when the allegations were clearly false is baffling. Mr. Serwalo Tumelo who had spent his valuable
time selflessly to collaborate with Prof. Inyang, the majority of Council members and many
international organizations and institutions to develop BIUST after its initial failure to put BIUST on
the path to being a first-grade institution, was then dismissed abruptly as the BIUST Council Chair,
by your Ministry on the basis of rumours. Would you not grade this as political interference? Vice
Chancellor Inyang is too distinguished and disciplined to stay on at any post that is sustained by
injustice. He would not do that at any prize. He is internationally recognized for both academic
excellence and conscientiousness. He has a history of courage and forthrightness.
•Your Permanent Secretary – Mr. Richard Matlhare acting in tandem with Mr. Boyce L. Sebetela,
who had become the new Acting Council Chair, dissolved the Internal Commission of Enquiry into
the attempted abduction incident. Reports of the actions of the BIUST staff members: Mr. Molefe,
Ms. Sekga and Ms. Kesamang, as well as Mr. Sebetela himself were ignored. Particularly, in his
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letter to the Vice Chancellor referenced CE6/7FXII (II) and dated October 9, 2014, Mr. Richard
Matlhare, stated with respect to the suspension of the staff members with pay to perform internal
investigations “the actions you have taken as set out above, have no legal basis and are therefore,
wrongful and unlawful” Essentially, his opinion which you have endorsed through your report to
the Parliament of Botswana is that a Vice Chancellor cannot suspend a staff member even with
pay, for investigations to be performed even when the Council-approved Terms and Conditions of
Service quoted above gives the Vice Chancellor that authority.
To the Parliament of Botswana, you mentioned the breakdown of discipline and governance
at BIUST. Who caused it? Ms. Cynthia Sekga ignored the disciplinary summons that was given by
Vice Chancellor Inyang in a letter dated September 1, 2014. She responded with a cynical email to
the Vice Chancellor. With your Ministry’s support, she has escaped disciplinary action, and her
contract has been recently renewed by the new BIUST Council Chair, Mr. B. Bolele when advised
not to and after assuring observers and other stakeholders that would not do so, while others who
are more deserving have been terminated.
You may verify from Mr. Tumelo that Ms. Sekga as BIUST Council Secretary cannot produce
the approved minutes of at least 50% of regular and sub-committee meetings of the BIUST Council
yet she found time to initiate and spread rumours on HR and other internal matters outside her
job responsibilities. Why did your Ministry interfere without request in an internal disciplinary
investigation at BIUST to safeguard the interest of just a few staff members who were disrupting
operations there? Is the education of highly talented BIUST students not more important than the
discriminating predisposition of a few staff members? Why should a few staff members who are
previously dismissed from their permanent jobs for indiscipline be protected by your Ministry at
huge costs to BIUST in spite of continuing indiscipline?
•There is anguish on the part of those who took risky steps with respect to branding of the
September 16, 2014 BIUST Campus incident as an “abduction attempt”. Abduction is defined as
the forceful removal of a person from a known location to an unknown location by unidentified
persons. This is precisely what was attempted on foreign personnel by the unauthorized agents
who refused to identify themselves to the Vice Chancellor of BIUST. Many Batswana staff
members of BIUST condemned this act. It is a shame that your Ministry has condoned this act by
labeling it “routine check”. There was nothing routine about that event. It was designed and
perpetrated to embarrass Mr. Tumelo, Prof. Inyang and others who seek progress at BIUST.
•Would you or your Ministry condone such an act against Batswana visiting fellows in foreign
institutions in Ireland, USA, Nigeria and South Africa? In this age of geopolitical conflicts and
terrorism, all Vice Chancellors must be vigilant about the forced removal of foreign staff
particularly, US and European citizens, from their campuses. Your Ministry’s initial response should
have been to work with the Vice Chancellor to make amends rather than support the arrogance of
a few Council members and their wards within BIUST. It is shocking that as a national Ministry of
Education, you have castigated the then Vice Chancellor in the national Parliament which was then
reported in the newspapers, for protesting against that unfortunate event. Many Batswana do not
support that stance.
B.3 Your Statement “At the Centre of this were lapses in governance at the University. Council
meetings were not as regular as expected but decisions that are the prerogative of Council
were made and implemented by the leadership of the University”
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•Response by GUEFIND
Governance never broke down at BIUST during the Council leadership of Mr. Serwalo Tumelo
and the Management control of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang. There was a clear, conscious and determined
effort to interfere at BIUST and discredit the success that was being attained there to the
knowledge of the people of Botswana and the several collaborators and stakeholders. Governance
broke down at BIUST after the removal of Mr. Serwalo Tumelo as the Council Chair in October,
2014 and the related resignation of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang as the Vice Chancellor. Both leaders had
collaborated deeply with all BIUST stakeholders to restore their confidence in BIUST within and
outside Botswana. There was excitement in the business community in response to Prof. Inyang’s
vision, intensity of actions and public appeal. Many Batswana students and their patrons/parents
as well as foreign students from high-income countries applied in huge numbers for admission into
BIUST in response to the improvements that Prof. Inyang brought as well as his fame to BIUST. It
should be recalled that Prof. Inyang had stated publicly that he would resign if Mr. Tumelo is
removed without justification and on the basis of rumours.
Indeed, within one year of his re-organization of BIUST in spite of the logistical challenges of
moving an entire institution through more than 270 km from Oodi to Palapye, the global
institutional ranking (webometrics) of BIUST moved upwards by more than 620 places from 17,518
in August, 2013 (when Prof. Inyang arrived in Botswana) to 16,876 in August, 2014 just a few
months before his resignation. This is precisely what he promised to do at BIUST. None of the
achievements during his 15 months of service as the Vice Chancellor of BIUST which are
catalogued as Documents B10 and B13 at our website www.guefind.org would have been attained
without good governance, evidence of which is outlined below.
B.3.a Site Visits on Governance Processes
BIUST has many evaluation instruments for governance. Which of the instruments or
processes served as the basis for your assertion that “At the centre of these were lapses in
governance at the University”?. The “Institutional Performance Indexing System and Balance Score
Card of BIUST” (download as Document B4 from website www.guefind.org) which was approved
by the BIUST Council on October 30, 2014, set forth the processes for evaluation of BIUST
performance on all aspects, including governance. Which of the parameters therein indicated poor
governance at BIUST to justify your assertion to the Parliament of Botswana? BIUST has both
internal and external audits – what do the audit reports say? Do they confirm your assertion?
BIUST Council has and Audit and Finance Committee that met at least twice during the time in
question prior to the completion of the terms of service of some members. Have they been
interviewed to ascertain how BIUST was governed or is there preference for rumours as the basis
for widely reported but false official representations to the Parliament?
•On January 24, 2014, BIUST made detailed presentations on its internal governance and
associated programmes to highly experienced Council members of the Botswana Qualifications
Authority (BQA), the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) and the Tertiary Education
Council (TEC) in its Palapye Campus Auditorium. The presentations addressed all aspects of BIUST
governance and were led by the Vice Chancellor- Prof. Hilary I. Inyang with presentations by the
Director of Internal Audit- Mrs. Lesedi Lesetedi, Council Secretary- Ms. Cynthia Obolokile Sekga,
Director of Registry (then)- Mr. Moss Garde, Provost- Prof. Dennis Siginer, and Director of District
Extension Centres- Dr. Haniso Motlhabane. After the presentations, the representatives of the
three important Councils applauded the efforts of BIUST on governance and issued statements of
approval. The names of the Council members of HRDC, TEC and BQA are well known in Botswana.
They can be contacted for verification of this claim.
20
Many other detailed presentations on BIUST governance were presented to your Ministry,
other agencies, the private sector and collaborating institutions as evident in many BIUST briefing
reports that are in your Ministry (see Document B5 and B13, additional copies are available if
required). The BIUST Administration under Mr. Tumelo and Prof. Inyang also hosted press
conferences that covered governance processes and achievements of BIUST, the latest of which
was held in Palapye in July, 2014. There was transparency and orderliness in BIUST governance.
Only political interference and removal of Mr. Serwalo Tumelo as the Council Chairman and
resignation of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang as the Vice Chancellor led to degradation of BIUST governance
and all that has happened since then. Prof. Inyang gave early warning about this but responsible
parties arrogantly ignored him.
B.3.b BIUST as A Weakly Governed Institution Prior to the Arrival of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang As VC
and Mr. S. Tumelo as the Council Chair.
•It is important to review the state of BIUST and governance structure that Prof. Inyang came to
find in August 2013 to scale the success that his collaborative effort with the Tumelo- led Council
reached in just 15 months at an institution that operated previously for more than 6 years without
any significant achievement. They set forth to address these deficiencies at BIUST and achieved
remarkable success within just 15 months. Their achievements have been published in Botswana
newspapers and can be downloaded from our website www.guefind.org where they are
summarized as Documents B9 and B10. The deficiencies that Prof. Inyang met at BIUST at his
appointment as VC in August 2013 are outlined below;
i. CONFIGURATIONAL PROBLEMS
•An organizational structure that is grossly inadequate with respect to the task that a
proclaimed research university must perform.
•No opportunities for advancement in the structure of the university, with staff occupying
positions that have no progression.
•Confusion of rank and management positions making it impossible to scale promotions of
staff during service.
•Inexistence of a salary structure with the BIUST Human Resources Directorate playing the
inappropriate role of defining roles and associated salaries beyond their mandate and
experience.
ii. ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND RESEARCH PROBLEMS
•Non- existence of staff promotion guidelines.
•Excessive pooling of academic programmes into monolithic units
•Relegation of research to low consideration in recruitment of staff
•Non-emphasis on post-graduate programmes
•No targeting of globally recognized experts to join BIUST
•Disinterest in accepting and recalling BIUST Fellows to join the BIUST Faculty
•Lack of teachers for critical courses, including mathematics, and use of just BSc holders to
teach other bachelor’s degree students
•Poor work ethic of professors who teach lightly and excessively use poorly paid teaching
assistants and technicians on course delivery and laboratory work
•Employment of teaching assistants on 3 – 6 month terms arbitrarily by the Directorate of
Human Resources without rebuke
•Non-existence of a functioning Academic Senate
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•No significant consultation of the private sector on research plans or formation of
curriculum advisory boards
iii. ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS
•Excessive absenteeism from work by even senior BIUST personnel, including one Deputy
Vice Chancellor who refused to have a secretary to avoid framing of work for himself.
•Disregard for personnel rank and hierarchy in the attitudes of BIUST staff. Poor work ethic
•Excessive use of overtime hours while accomplishing little during regular work hours
•Out-dated terms and conditions of service that is not appropriate for a research university
•A disenchanted Student Representative Council (SRC) that did not yet have an approved
constitution
•Focus on process rather than progress and results
•Excessive dependence on Council for execution of Management-level tasks
•Low staff morale with negative impact on work
•Disregard for deadlines in the planning and implementation of tasks while preaching
policies as excuse
•Disinterest in moving from Gaborone to Palapye with use of delaying tactics
•Misrepresentation of patriotism as xenophobia.
•Absence of vetting in recruitment processes with responsible leaders within the HR
department not even acknowledging the receipt of application letters from even Batswana
applicants if those did not come from their friends in Botswana.
iv. FACILITIES PROBLEMS
•No meaningful interest in proceeding to phase 2 BIUST development. No follow-up on prior
agreements between Government and investors/development partners
•No engagement of the private sector in seeking residential housing for staff and students
•No consideration of the research orientation of BIUST that warrants the creation of
research centres with facilities to support entrepreneurship
•No effort to secure facilities outside the districts across Botswana
•Delay in completion of the Campus Master plan that should have been produced years
earlier
Within a few months, Prof. Inyang created an Internal Cabinet, configured the Academic
Senate, processed the Student Representative Council’s constitution, met regularly with internal
staff at all levels, to establish a governance structure that was befitting of an international research
university as targeted by the BIUST Act, and briefed Council and the MOESD in several documents.
Where required, approvals were sought from the BIUST Council on dates that are detailed in this
rebuttal and associated documents.
B.3.c BIUST Council Versus BIUST Management Decision- making Responsibilities
•Great universities are not Council-dominated. They build internal management staff capacities
for operation of the university without Council interferences. Council merely sets evaluation rules
to scale the university’s performance and monitors the performance on behalf of owners,
sponsors and other stakeholders of the university. The BIUST Act and Statutes are very clear on the
division of responsibilities between the BIUST Council and the BIUST Act. Under the leadership of
Mr. Tumelo, about three members of the BIUST Council (Mr. Boyce Sebetela who at times made
some useful contributions, Mr. Nkatla C. Morupisi who never made any useful contribution and Dr.
22
Happy Fitzani) continuously sought roles as “super- Council members” who would have unbridled
authority in spite of their limited university leadership experience to command Management to do
their bidding even when such postures were not in the interest of the university and country. They
were not allowed by Mr. Tumelo to use small things to stop big things. Internal email exchanges
that were distributed to all Council members and interviews with observers, some who came to
make professional presentations to Council, can confirm the nature of their contributions including
impoliteness.
The factor described above became the main driver of their displeasure, impoliteness and
attack mode which were readily observable in Council meetings. As an example, one of them was
paranoid about BIUST, its personnel and accomplishments being advertised. He was against it and
frequently accosted the BIUST Director of Communications and Public Affairs about it even though
the public parastatal that he chairs had advertised his appointment as the chair of that parastatal
in almost every Botswana newspaper at a cost to Botswana. The Vice Chancellor was forced to
write a justification for advertisement of BIUST and the accomplishment of staff, including himself
dated August 6, 2014 and included as Document B25 in our website www.guefind.org to explain
that as a new university, BIUST must advertise its programmes, personnel and plans aggressively.
The success that BIUST had achieved in admission applications is mostly due to the aggressive
advertisement that Prof. Inyang’s administration brought in 2013 to BIUST. It is on record that the
total cost of BIUST-paid adverts did not exceed the amount that the Botswana Government pays to
sponsor each student overseas for one year (P400,000)
•A university is neither a company nor a military installation. It has many levels of internal
governance from students (SRC) through Departments and Colleges to the University Senate. A
Council in any university that has integrity must only play the monitoring and evaluation roles. It is
not supposed to make operational guidelines but to approve general policies that are created prior
to their use. When once such policies are approved, Council has no business in their management
operations. At BIUST, some politically appointed Council members felt the need to micro-manage
the university despite Mr. Tumelo’s effort to enlighten them that Council must focus on strategic
aspects.
•Contrary to your assertion that “decisions that are the prerogative of Council were made and
implemented by the leadership of the university,” all policies of BIUST that were developed or
completed during the management leadership of Prof. Hilary I. Inyang were brought to Council for
approval prior to their use. Among them were.
•BIUST Procurement Policy, Nov. 20, 2013
•BIUST Communication Policy, Nov. 20, 2013
•BIUST Campus Master Plan, Jan 31, 2014
•BIUST Performance Indexing System, Oct 30, 2013
•Promotion Guidelines for Research & Academic Staff (Scheduled at the time of Prof.
Inyang’s resignation)
•BIUST Terms and Conditions of Service (Scheduled at the time of Prof. Inyang’s
resignation)
•BIUST Salary Structure (Scheduled at the time of Prof. Inyang’s resignation)
Some BIUST internal staff, particularly Ms. Cynthia Sekga, the Director of Legal Services/
Secretary to Council found it convenient to inject Council into essentially Management functions to
23
highlight her role and increase her power internally at BIUST. In credible universities, the position
of Legal Secretary and Council Secretary are fringe positions but your Ministry has empowered her
to be ever present on all matters academic and administrative as if she is a university Kgosi. BIUST
will never reach the level of institutional maturity that is required for it to achieve its mission and
compete with others internationally if it continues to operate the way it now does with your
blessing. No excellent university elsewhere, including schools like Stellenbosch, MIT, Yale, Imperial
College and Indian Institute of Technology, has a Council that is ever present in internal university
management activities in a circumstance in which rumours are cherished by the supervising
Ministry above periodic official reports that can be easily checked.
Ironically, many excellent Batswana students are being sponsored to those schools overseas
because their independent operational format and academic freedom spur their excellence. Why
is it difficult to conceive such an institution in Botswana which was the ultimate target of the
administration and programmes that Prof. Inyang and his experts brought to BIUST? The stakes are
high and are firmly anchored in the need to develop the skills and provide necessary technological
outreach to various districts of Botswana to provide jobs and improve the living conditions of
Batswana as communicated and targeted in Botswana’s National Development Plan (NDP)-11 for
which Prof. Inyang’s BIUST Management developed the strategy described in Document B21 at
our website www.guefind.org
B.3.d Frequency of BIUST Council Meetings.
The BIUST Act and its statutes recommend three full Council meetings per year. BIUST had
two Council meetings but had numerous Sub-Committee meetings to address facilities (at least 4),
budget/audit (about 3), hiring of faculty (at least 3) and special emergency meetings (at least 2).
Very few universities within and outside Botswana have Councils that meet this frequently. A few
Council members who wanted to micro-manage BIUST in spite of the fact that a Vice Chancellor
and management staff had been hired, wanted to meet more often but would not read detailed
reports as needed, for them to make meaningful contributions at those meetings. Again, your
statement that “Council meetings were not as regular as expected” is not correct and should have
been checked with Mr. Tumelo who had for months, been seeking a meeting with your Ministry’s
leadership unsuccessfully.
B.3.e Illegal Induction of Council Members
A clear example of how BIUST internal staff who continues to get the support of the current
Council and your Ministry abused the integrity of the BIUST governance without rebuke is the
unfortunate “Council Induction” event of September 1-2, 2014. Without authorization by either
the Council Chairman or the Vice Chancellor, the Council Secretary who is a staff member of BIUST,
scheduled an event to induct Council members into Council and proceeded to hold the first day of
the event without the Chairman of the Council and the Vice Chancellor.
Through a formal letter to her dated September 1, 2014, the Council Secretary Ms. Sekga
was instructed by the Vice Chancellor to attend a Roles and Responsibilities meeting to explain her
actions. Her response was an email to the Vice Chancellor copied to the Council Chairman (Mr.
Tumelo) and the Provost in which she sarcastically stated “Thank you very much for your letter to
me”, “God bless you?” with no explanation of her actions as instructed in the Vice Chancellors
letter. Her email is dated September 1, 2014 and was sent at 10:46pm. She had been empowered
by the anti- Tumelo camp in the Council and could at that time, act above the Vice Chancellor and
even Council Chair Tumelo.
She was suspended with pay by VC Inyang but the Acting Council Chair that your Ministry
appointed to replace Mr. Tumelo quickly nullified her suspension with the blessing of your Ministry
24
(refer to the letter sent by your Ministry’s Permanent Secretary to the Vice Chancellor dated
October 9, 2014 and informing him that he has no authority to discipline Ms. Sekga – a midlevel
staff member that reported to him). Isn’t this the political interference in BIUST that Distinguished
Prof. Hilary I. Inyang cited? Why should Ms. Sekga have the right to be an “untouchable” and act
with impunity in an international academic institution except that she is empowered by external
political patrons? What did your Ministry’s representative in the BIUST Council who knew about
this circumstance, have to say about it?
B.4 Your Remark, “At this stage of development, BIUST remains a project and therefore deserves
this kind of support and for the Ministry/or Council to intervene as necessary?
•Response by GUEFIND
B.4.a Interference is not Supportive Intervention
The interferences that are clearly described in the preceding paragraphs which were part of
a political power-play should not be misrepresented as supportive intervention. The latter would
have focused on helping BIUST attain its strategic targets, reach out to communities across
Botswana, and receive its allocated funds in time to support programmes. In his incisive letter
entitled “Response to Remarks Regarding Recent Incidences and Directions at BIUST” dated
October 14, 2014 and sent to members of the BIUST Council, BIUST VC’s Cabinet, and BIUST
Senate, and copied to your Permanent Secretary as well as the BIUST Chancellor, just after his
resignation, Prof. Hilary I. Inyang commented clearly on the issue of interference in tertiary
institutions.
We have obtained a copy of that letter from one of the BIUST staff members and a copy of
that letter is installed in our website www.guefind.org as Document B3 because clearly, Prof
Inyang knew that upon his departure from BIUST, untrue allegations such as yours will be made. In
paragraph 3 of his October 14, 2014 letter, Prof Inyang stated:
•“In any self-respecting and authentic university, Council does not issue operational
instructions to university staff to contravene the Vice Chancellor’s instructions, and no
staff member dare pretend to act above the supervisory or disciplinary authority of the
Vice Chancellor and other Management staff of superior rank. This does not even happen
in a secondary school, let alone a university that targets excellence at the international
level. There can be no intellectual advancement in a riotous and undisciplined
organization.”
B.4.b Excitement in Planning but Reticence in Implementation of the Plans
Why should BIUST remain as a project in the early stages of planning since 2005? That is 9
years of planning an academic institution while its contemporaries in neighbouring countries have
taken bold steps on implementation of plans. There is excitement in planning but inertia in implementation. A review of the history of BIUST will show that any Vice Chancellor who attempts to bring innovation and go beyond declarations of aspirations to actual implementation of meaningful activities will attract the ire of corrupt xenophobic cynics and inertia promoters within and outside the university to the disadvantage of well-meaning Batswana.
With the leadership of people like Prof. Hilary I. Inyang and his senior staff (those who cannot be intimidated), significant achievements would have been recorded by BIUST in less than half the period of its existence so far. Time is not an agent of positive change but catalysts are. Our very humble recommendation is that a Vice Chancellor who knows his onions should be hired by BIUST to assemble his/her team with a mandate to perform. If he/she can not perform as targeted, then terminate him/her. There should be no excuse in meddling in an institution’s internal management affairs. There is no responsibility without authority. You can not hire a good soccer coach and insist on specifying his game strategy and the players to feature. If overseers are experts themselves, then why do the need a Coach? A good coach would resign immediately. Those who doubt this observation should watch Coach José Mourinho of Chelsea Football Club of England.



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