University of Botswana Academics and Senior Support Staff Union (UBASSSU) says it has noted that Vice Chancellor Professor David Norris is moving very fast with the implementation of the transformation process and ignoring the joint agreement they made with management as captured in the Joint Statement signed on November 18, 2021.
In a letter to Norris this week, UBASSSU Secretary General Dr Keoneeng Magocha said some of the issues raised in the joint statement, were reiterated at the recent HPO Steering Committee meeting, and which they hope Norris was thoroughly briefed about.
“We would like to note that there is no University Council and therefore implementation of the processes does not have the benefit, foresight, and scrutiny of Council, which is a critical player at this crucial stage of change. Our view is that you should slow down and allow for Council to be appointed and check whether you are doing thing correctly,” Magocha said.
Magocha noted further, that the new initiative is superimposed on challenges which have not been addressed, such as payment of outstanding PMS rewards and salary adjustments for the years that the Vice Chancellor knows about. “Our view is that all these monies should be paid before we can bring in a new system.”
The union also noted that the transformation will certainly result in some their members being retrenched. “Before you can transform the institution, we would like to see the Exit Policy so that our members may see what the package looks like and make informed decisions about their future,” he said.
He added that they have long requested to be appraised about the budget for the transformation exercise so that they are confident that the process they are asked to participate in has funding. He said: “Currently all we hear is that the University has no money”.
This week UB management briefed UB staff and senior members of the media that the UB is transforming into a high performance university that solves society problems and makes own money.
During one of the meetings staff was questioning why go ahead with transformation when there was no governing council. The staff was concerned that Council may agree or not agree with the direction of management when appointed. They also questioned why this move when there is no budget for the exercise. Another thorny issue is why talk transformation when all senior positions are held with acting appointments only for so long. They want conditions of staff improved as part of transformation exercise.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.