• Declared “a ghost employee” at PEEPA • Board chairman allegedly refused to meet with Diswai • Acting CEO instructed her to vacate PEEPA premises • PEEPA demanded return of Credit card, cell phone, vehicle, laptop and ipad.
It doesn’t rain but pours at the Public Enterprise and Privatization Agency (PEEPA).
Colleen Tiny Neo Diswai, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) found herself jobless, and this is after she received an employment offer at PEEPA for five years effective from January 1, 2017.
Allegations are rife that her notorious employment termination is linked to plans to disband and close down PEEPA as there is a special interest on the privatization of the ‘controversial’ airline, Air Botswana by some at the control of this country.
These interested parties, apparently have an interest to buy these parastatals and hence the move of PEEPA from Ministry of Finance to the Office of the President.
Presidential Affairs Minister, Eric Molale did not answer his cellphone to clarify and to comment on the allegations of Air Botswana’s privatization being at the helm of PEEPA’s woes among others, and to shed light on why this ministry was moved from the Ministry of Finance to the office of the President.
On his part the Minister of Finance , Kenneth Mathambo referred The Voice to the office of the president, remarking that he didn’t know what was happening at PEEPA as the organization was not under his portfolio.
However, Diswai did not take her termination lying down.
She took PEEPA to task and in an Urgent Application before Judge Radijeng papers filed before the High Court of Botswana, it was stated that she was first appointed as the PEEPA Deputy Chief Executive in August 2010.
Her offer letter was signed by the then PEEPA Board Human resource Committee Chairperson Sadique Kebonang who is now the Minister of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Energy Security.
When her contract expired, she was given a further employment term of two years effective from 13 August 2015. According to court documents when PEEPA underwent organization restructuring during 2016 she was retained. And she received an offer letter in December 2016, for a further employment term of five years, signed by PEEPA’s Human Resources Committee Chairman, Prof Happy Siphambe.
In their Heads of Argument in the urgent application, before court on Wednesday Tumisang Dow of Dow & Associates filed that their client, Diswai was surprised when she received a letter from the Board Chairman, Tally Tshekiso in which the position was taken that the December 2016 offer letter had “no effect” and was “unlawful”.
The letter, the court document alludes, is that “the Human Resources Committee Chairman, Prof. Happy Siphambe had “no authority” to make any such offer(s), consequently that from the 1st January 2017 to date the Applicant was not an employee of the Respondent. (PEEPA).
And that Prof Happy Siphambe had “no authority” to make the first August 2015 Offer letter consequently during that period the Applicant was not an employee of the Respondent.
In a telephone interview, Professor Siphambe when asked about the impeding disbandment of PEEPA as well as Diswai’s employment termination said he was not at liberty to discuss PEEPA with a third party or public domain. He referred the paper to the Board Chairperson Tally Tshekiso whose phone was unavailable.
PEEPA was represented by Thabiso Tafila Attorneys who argued that “it is in the interest of justice that matters such as the one brought by the Applicant should be properly argued on adequate Affidavits with Heads of Argument from both sides.”
It was further stated in PEEPA’s Attorney’s Head of Arguments: “So a reasonable time aIthough truncated, must be given to Respondent/Respondents to file their Notice of Opposition, Affidavits and Heads of Argument, otherwise were this procedure to be allowed urgent applications seeking for interdicts and Rule Nisi will be mounted as an ambush to the other side and placing the Respondent at a disadvantage.”
The ruling for the urgent application was set down for October 4th.