SPEDU strikes deal with former Acting CEO

Bame Piet

Ueseza smiles all the way to the bank from SPEDU

The Selebi Phikwe Economic Development Unit under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has struck a deal with former Acting Chief Executive Officer Jazenga Uaseza in what is believed to be a golden handshake.

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SPEDU and Uaseza were embroiled in a dispute over extension of contract of employment for Uaseza, putting the Minister Mmusi Kgafela and his deputy Beauty Manake in two opposing sides. The matter which was already before the Gaborone High Court has since been withdrawn after they settled in a deal that saw Uaseza leave the company with a healthy bank account.

Although neither Uaseza or SPEDU are willing to share the details of the deal, it is believed that the former CEO pocketed over a million pula, a figure which was calculated based on the position of Director of Strategic Projects at SPEDU which is equivalent to that of a Director in a parastatal and attracted a salary of around P60,000.00 a month with other perks while that of CEO is around P80,000.00.

Reached for comment, his lawyer Samuel Plaatjie said he was not in a position to discuss the details saying they were confidential and that his role was to ensure that his client got justice. However, he confirmed that Uaseza was not reinstated.

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Uaseza on the other hand referred our enquiries to his lawyer.

“I cannot say anything right now since I might land myself in trouble. You better contact my lawyer for your enquiries,” he said.

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Minister Kgafela also said he was not in a position to share any details on the deal since he was the ultimate authority on the matter.

“The terms of the settlement contained confidentiality as far as the Board has briefed. In any case the Board are closer to the events than I am. I mean no disrespect but I am consequent to what I was briefed on under prohibition to discuss it,” he responded to our enquiries.

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Efforts to get a comment from the Board did not bear a fruit. The Principal Public Relations for MITI Oarabile Phefo declined to discuss anything with us saying he will only talk on Thursday morning.
“I am busy somewhere and can only talk to you on Thursday morning,” he said.

Uaseza dragged SPEDU to the High Court after the two ministers issued conflicting instructions to the Board on whether his contract should be extended by 12 more months. Mmusi had instructed the Board not to extend whilst his deputy, Manake preferred to extend his contract when it ended in April 2023.

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Uaseza who was Director of Strategic Projects was engaged as Acting Chief Executive Officer from 2021 after the departure of substantive CEO Dr Mokubung Mokubung. The position of Director was left vacant for two years and one of his pleadings with the ministry was that he should be appointed to the position.

Meanwhile, Gideon Mmolawa who was Chief Economist at MITI has since been appointed CEO of SPEDU.

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