Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) has moved to engage a document verification and background check company to enhance the integrity of its recruitment process in the recently advertised top posts, owing to previous fraud cases that ensnared the university.
BIUST, a state owned premier science and research institution is currently conducting the recruitment process for two senior posts; Deputy Vice Chancellors- Finance and Administration, and Deputy Vice Chancellors- Academic Affairs. BIUST confirmed last week that given the previous experience, in which the university employed a foreign national who was found to be in possession of dubious documents, the recruitment process has been tightened.
“The University has made a significant improvements on its recruitment process by expanding probity checks which include extensive security checks, employment and education verifications, publications, financial conduct and character analysis,” said the university Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Keoagile Rafifing. “This was to ensure that we recruit staff of high calibre and integrity.”
Although the university is handling the recruitment process internally, the institution has engaged a local based company, Infotrac Pty (Ltd) to conduct document verification and background checks for those who will be shortlisted for the two senior posts. “As an institution, especially of the BIUST calibre, you do not want by any chance to employ people who are not qualified and whom their qualifications are doubtful. It seriously dents the credibility of the institution and that is why it is important to conduct this process,” said Infotrac Director Mompoloki Motshidi
“Fraud is on the increase and it is even becoming more complex to deal with it, especially for international recruits. Previous incidents have shown that people fake qualifications mainly for top posts, and if there is no mechanism put in place, wrong people get the job.” The applications for the two posts are closing on the 23rd of March 2020, and subsequently the shortlisting process will be set in motion. BIUST, under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Professor Otlogetswe Totolo, is finding its feet following challenging phases during formative years.
Professor Totolo is the 3rd Vice Chancellor of the university and first local to assume the post. His predecessors are Prof. Hillary Inyang and Prof. Kweku Bentil. After taking over the reins in 2016, Professor Totolo launched ambitious key strategies including substantial investment on research and development, human resource capability and collaboration with the industry that will see the university living its dream beyond the year 2022.
Professor Totolo, who has brought stability to the university, came on aboard amid new hopes that the institution will live up to its true expectation, with the Strategic Plan 2016-2022 seen as the blue print to transforming the Palapye based science and technology institution. As per his admission at the launch of the strategy, Professor said he wants his institution to set itself apart from other state owned institutions. He said BIUST should take a different path of not being heavily reliant on government for funding, but to explore other means of raising the funds.
Prof Totolo has been optimistic that, like other internationally recognised universities in the world, BIUST can forge formidable partnerships with the industry players and other philanthropic individuals to source out funds for the institution. “There are many people, whom I have met and interacted with who can be willing to give portions of their money to BIUST. But first we have to build relationships with them,” he said when launching the university strategy 2016-2022.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has been consistently ranked as a top technology university in the world has fostered a problem-solving approach that encourages researchers to work together across departments, fields, and institutional boundaries. The resulting collaborations have included thousands of fruitful partnerships with industry and other leading research institutions. Research sponsored directly by industry, according to the institution’s website totalled $134 million (about P1.4 billion) in fiscal year 2015, or 19 percent of all MIT research funding.
According to the National Science Foundation, MIT ranks first in industry-financed research and development expenditures among all universities and colleges without a medical school. MIT has partnership with over 700 companies. BIUST has indicated desire to form a close relationship with other quasi-government research institutions such as National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) and Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) among others.
It has been noted by BIUST itself that for it to claim the position of being considered the “engine of development” and flagship for science, engineering and technology university of reputable standing” it will depend on it being able to embark on researches which can transform into tangible applications and products of importance to the society.
During the five year strategy, the university will strive to build strong linkages with the industry, look for research funding from various sources and have adequate and sustainable research staff and infrastructure. By the 2022/23 academic year, BIUST plans to enrol 100 percent of the country’s top students, with 15 percent of its enrolment being international students. The institution will have 6000 students of which between 4500-5000 should be in undergraduate programmes, and 1000-1500 in post graduate programmes.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.