Public Enterprises, Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) board has resolved this week to suspend Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Obakeng Moumakwa from his post reportedly owing to the allegations that have marred the organisation recently.
PEEPA is responsible for advising Government on privatisation strategies as well as implementation of privatisation, which includes commercialisation, restructuring, outsourcing and divesture interventions for the effectiveness and efficiency of public enterprises and ministries as well as promoting good corporate governance in quasi-government institutions.
Moumakwa’s suspension came effective on Thursday, with the agency’s Acting Corporate Communications Manager, Mosikare Mogegeh saying ‘the decision is taken to enable the Board to undertake an internal investigations into the allegations levelled against the agency.” In the absence of Moumakwa, Director of Strategy and Programmes Ishmael Joseph has taken over the reins on acting basis.
The decision to suspend Moumakwa comes just a fortnight after PEEPA announced that the agency have set in motion a process that will see the privatisation of BMC. The decision was announced jointly by Moumakwa and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Jimmy Opelo. PEEPA recently awarded two tenders to locally based companies; leading auditing firm Deloitte Botswana as well as leading corporate law firm Minchin & Kelly.
Deloitte was awarded the P4.2 million tender relating to assessing the value of BMC Maun abattoir, which has since been de-linked from the BMC, and would be privatised separately. Meanwhile Minchin & Kelly was awarded the tender relating to the main BMC, and has been mandated among others to explore feasible privatisation models, and make a recommendation to government.
Deloitte is expected to have concluded its work in the next 10 weeks, while Minchin & Kelly has been given up to September to complete its work, owing to the magnitude of its mandate compared to the former. While the process to award the two tenders may have been questioned, Moumakwa explained then that the process which led to the award of the two tenders was a fair and transparent. Moumakwa said the with regard to the main BMC tender, PEEPA had issued an Expression of Interest (EOI), of which five companies responded.
The five companies which responded, according to Moumakwa, were invited to submit Request for Proposal (RFP), of which four companies responded. The PEEPA then resolved to offer the tender to Minchin & Kelly based on its submissions. Relating to the Maun abattoir, PEEPA approached Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA) and requested names of companies registered with them, and then offered them the opportunity respond to RFP, of which 9 companies out of 10 registered with BAOA responded. The agency reached a conclusion on Deloitte.
Moumakawa’s arrival at the organisation has been clouded by controversy since day one following a disapproval from Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Public Enterprises. In September 2018, Office of the President Permanent Secretary Thato Ramodimoosi came under fire from the committee led by Tati East legislator Samson Guma for appointing Moumakwa without the input of the board.
Moumakwa, the onetime Kgalagadi North Member of Parliament was appointed to office during the reign of President Khama, with Eric Molale, then Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration being instrumental in his recruitment. However, sources indicate that Moumakwa may be paying the price for his political affiliation. Though Moumakwa has been not been in active politics since leaving at the end of 2007, many still associate him with the Botswana National Front (BNF), the party he represented in parliament.
PEEPA was moved from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in 2016 amid strong resistance from opposition legislators. According to his aide, Moumakwa is fighting tooth and nail to challenge the suspension. He has engaged attorneys, to solicit for legal advice on the matter.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.