CITF Recruitment sets tongues wagging
By Aubrey Lute
CITF Director of Human Resources, Joseph Ndadi
The Construction Industry Trust Fund (CITF) has finally recruited a Deputy Executive Director, but management has to deal with a backlash of perceived flawed recruitment process and allegations of favouritism.
The CITF Executive Director, Buti Moepi has been painted as a man hell-bent on roping in his perfect replacement when he retires. But the CITF director of Human Resources, Joseph Ndadi rubbishes the “malicious statements” and stresses that due process was followed when recruitment of the Deputy Executive Director was done.
Mr. Sabryn Kgaisanyo Tsie, is the new CITF Deputy Executive Director and he joins from BCL in Selibe Phikwe. His new job will certainly attract him friends and enemies, but Ndadi and his management and the Board are happy that they found the right man for the job. Tsie is a former employee of CITF.
A minority in the Board and indeed some staff members are of the view that one of the Principal Facilitators at CITF should have been appointed to deputise Moepi. Currently one of the Principal facilitators is acting in the position of Deputy Executive Director. Suggestions indicate that the advert for the post of deputy executive director was carefully crafted to eliminate those who are in line at CITF.
The job was advertised twice and seven candidates were interviewed. Explaining why the position was advertised twice, Ndadi said:
“Seven candidates were shortlisted for the first session. Amongst the seven candidates, two were employees of CITF, while the rest were external candidates. From the external candidates, one of the candidates who happen to be the one appointed could not attend the first interview due to the pressing matters from his employer who had assigned him to travel to South Africa on an emergency trip.
Obviously, this meant that he has to prioritise his job over CITF interview, since he would not be able to know if he will get the job if he opts to participate in the CITF interview, i.e. as a responsible candidate, he would not refuse to travel to South Africa since he knows where his bread is buttered, unlike taking a route which he is not sure about.
The candidate communicated this to CITF but as the Management and the Board of CITF, the interview continued despite his emergency trip. Furthermore, it should be noted that the interview was not going to be postponed for the sake of this candidate to participate.”
Ndadi indicated that after conducting Competency Based Interview for the seven candidates, the Board came to the conclusion that there was no right incumbent for this position. Therefore, they made a decision that they re-advertise the post.
He said from the re-advertisement of this post, CITF received 16 applications. “Amongst these applications, one of the candidates was the candidate who did not make it to the first interview session. A preliminary re-shortlist was done and two candidates were shortlisted. After the Board assessed the preliminary shortlist, one candidate was eliminated since he had reached CITF compulsory retirement age which is 60 years old,” he explained.
Ndadi dismissed suggestions that the advert was tailor made to eliminate other persons and favour a preferred candidate. “The first advert and the re-advertisement is the same, no changes were made to tailor it to anybody, and instead it’s tailored to the demands of CITF not an individual. CITF is run by a responsible Management and Board members who cannot reduce themselves to such an unethical motives as alluded by your informants,” he said.
Addressing the fact that the selected candidate was interviewed alone in the second round of interviews, Ndadi said: “Indeed it is true that he was interviewed alone by the Board of Trustees members and a senior delegate representing Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour & Home Affairs. In addition the panel members, an independent consultant was also roped in to give independent opinion about the candidates.”
He said the candidate was never issued a regret letter after failing to pitch for the first interview. Some of those who participated in the first round of interviews indicated that the advert made it clear that they should not reapply but Tsie re-applied. Tsie did not agree with the CITF offer and he negotiated his way up.
Ndadi said the HR Department was involved from the initial stage to final stage.
He further explained why the Tsie’s scale was adjusted from D1 to E2. “The adjustment is as standard practice in Government department that Deputy Directors are remunerated at E2 salary scale instead of D1, hence this adjustment. CITF being a quasi institution which follows the guidelines and regulations of Government and Parastatal organisations to a certain extent, it motivated the upgrading of this post so that it can have an attractive remuneration package.”
The Human Resource director said the Board is much aware that this adjustment will affect the entire Organisational Structure and they have assigned Management and the sub Committee of the Board known as Executive Committee to engage a Consultant who will conduct an Organisational Review exercise with effect from April 2015.
Ndadi said it is not solely the prerogative of the Director to look for his own replacement. He said it is upon the Board of Trustees members to identify who will replace the current Executive Director when his contract comes to an end.
“The input of the Executive Director in the role of identifying his replacement and Deputy Executive Director is limited only to a recommendation OR advice to the Board which the full Board can neither endorse nor turn it down or amend his submission in the interest of CITF,” stated.
The Executive Director is currently working on a 24 months contract which is coming to an end in 2016. Moepi’s contract has been extended three times in a span of six years.
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ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Masisi asks Virginia for help
President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the issue of sustainable natural resources management has always been an important part of Botswana’s national development agenda.
Masisi was speaking this week on the occasion of a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic, under theme, “Merging Conservation, Democracy and Sustainable Development in Botswana.”
Botswana, according to Masisi, holds the view that the environment is fragile and as such, must be managed and given the utmost protection to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“It is necessary that we engage one another in the interchange of ideas, perspectives, visualizations of social futures, and considerations of possible strategies and courses of action for sustainable development,” said Masisi.
On the other hand, dialogue, in the form of rigorous democratic discourse among stakeholders presents another basis for reconfiguring how people act on their environments, with a view to conserving its resources that “we require to meet our socio-economic development needs on a sustainable basis,” Masisi told attendees at the public lecture.
He said government has a keen interest in understanding the epidemiology and ecology of diseases of both domestic and wild animals. “It is our national interest to forestall the dire consequences of animal diseases on our communities livelihoods.”
President Masisi hoped that both Botswana and Virginia could help each other in curbing contagious diseases of wildlife.
“We believe that Virginia Tech can reasonably share their experiences, research insights and advances in veterinary sciences and medicines, to help us build capacity for knowledge creation and improve efforts of managing and containing contagious diseases of wildlife. The ground is fertile for entering into such a mutually beneficial partnership.”
When explaining environmental issues further, Masisi said efforts of conservation and sustainable development might at times be hampered by the emergence and recurrence of diseases when pathogens mutate and take host of more than one species.
“Water pollution also kills aquatic life, such as fish, which is one of humanity’s much deserved sources of food. In this regard, One Health Approach imposes ecological responsibility upon all of us to care for the environment and the bio-diversity therein.”
He said the production and use of animal vaccines is an important space and tool for conservation, particularly to deal with trans-border animal diseases.
“In Botswana, our 43-year-old national premier pharmaceutical institution called Botswana Vaccine Institute has played its role well. Through its successful production of highly efficacious Foot and Mouth vaccines, the country is able to contain this disease as well as supply vaccines to other countries in the sub-region.:
He has however declared that there is need for more help, saying “We need more capacitation to deal with and contain other types of microbial that affect both animals and human health.”
Masisi saddened by deaths of elephant attacks
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has expressed a strong worry over elephants killing people in Botswana. When speaking in Virginia this week, Masisi said it is unfortunate that Batswana have paid a price with their own blood through being attacked by elephants.
“Communities also suffer unimaginable economic losses yearly when their crops are eaten by the elephants. In spite of such incidents of human-elephant conflict, our people embrace living together with the animals. They fully understand wildlife conservation and its economic benefits in tourism.”
In 2018, Nthobogang Samokwase’s father was attacked by an elephant when travelling from the fields, where he stayed during the cropping season.
It was reported that the man couldn’t run because of his age. He was found trampled by the elephant and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
In the same year, in Maun, a 57-year-old British woman was attacked by an elephant at Boro and died upon arrival at the hospital. The woman was with her Motswana partner, and were walking dogs in the evening.
Last month, a Durban woman named Carly Marshall survived an elephant attack while on holiday in the bush in Botswana. She was stabbed by one of the elephant’s tucks through the chest and was left with bruises. Marshall also suffered several fractured ribs from the ordeal.
President Masisi Botswana has the largest population of African elephants in the world, totaling more than 130 000. “This has been possible due to progressive conservation policies, partnerships with the communities, and investment in wildlife management programmes.”
In order to benefit further from wildlife, Masisi indicated that government has re-introduced controlled hunting in 2019 after a four-year pause. “The re-introduction of hunting was done in an open, transparent and democratic way, giving the communities an opportunity to air their views. The funds from the sale of hunting quota goes towards community development and elephant conservation.”
He stressed that for conservation to succeed, the local people must be involved and derive benefits from the natural resources within their localities.
“There must be open and transparent consultations which involve all sectors of the society. It is against this backdrop that as a country, we lead the continent on merging conservation, democracy and sustainable development.”
Masisi stated that Botswana is open to collaborative opportunities, “particularly with identifiable partners such as Virginia Tech, in other essential areas such as conservation, and the study of the interplay among the ecology of diseases of wild animals and plants, and their effects on human health and socio-economic development.”
Gov’t commit to injecting more funds in fighting HIV
Minister for State President Kabo Morwaeng says government will continue to make resources available in terms of financial allocations and human capital to ensure that Botswana achieves the ideal of eradicating HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Morwaeng was speaking this morning in Gaborone at the High-Level Advocacy event to accelerate HIV Prevention in Botswana. He said the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAPHA), in partnership with UNAIDS, UN agencies, the Global Fund and PEPFAR, have started a process of developing transition readiness plan for sustainability of HIV prevention and treatment programmes.
“It is important for us, as a country that has had a fair share of donor support in the response to an epidemic such as HIV and AIDS, to look beyond the period when the level of assistance would have reduced, or ceased, thus calling for domestic financing for all areas which were on donor support.”
Morwaeng said this is important as the such a plan will guarantee that all the gains accrued from the response with donor support will be sustained until the end when “we reach the elimination of HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 20230,” he said.
“I commit to continue support efforts towards strengthened HIV prevention, accentuating HIV primary prevention and treatment as prevention towards Zero New Infections, Zero Stigma, Discrimination and Zero AIDS related death, to end AIDS in Botswana.”
He reiterated that government commits to tackle legislative, policy and programming challenges that act as barriers to the achievement of the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.
In the financial year 2022/2023, a total of 119 Civil Society Organizations, including Faith Based Organizations, were contracted with an amount of P100 million to implement HIV and NCDs prevention activities throughout the country, and the money was drawn from the Consolidated Fund.
Through an upcoming HIV Prevention Symposium, technical stakeholders will use outcomes to develop the Botswana HIV Prevention Acceleration Road Map for 2023-2025.
Morwaeng stated that government will support and ensure that Botswana plays its part achieving the road map. He said there is need to put hands on the deck to ensure that Botswana sustains progress made so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
“There are tremendous achievements thus far to, reach and surpass the UNAIDS fast track targets of 95%- 95%- 95% by the year 2025. As reflected by the BAIS preliminary results of 2021, we now stand at 95- 98- 98 against the set targets.”
“These achievements challenge us to now shift our gears and strive to know who are the remaining 5% for those aware of their HIV status, 2% of enrolment on treatment by those aware of their status and 2% of viral suppression by those on treatment.”
Explaining this further, Morwaeng said shift in gears should extend to coming up with robust strategies of determining where these remaining people are as well as how they will be reached with the necessary services.
“These are just some of the many variables that are required to ensure that as a country, we are well positioned to reaching the last mile of our country’s response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic.”