- CEO, GM Transmission and Distribution boss accused violating governance processes - BPC introduces four new executive position to increase Exco to 14 - Undertakes, direct appointments, transfers, deployments without consultation - Union accused of failing workers
Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Executive Management is said to be secretly undertaking restructuring under the pretext of implementing its new Strategy Maduo26.
Information gathered by Botswana Guardian suggests that the Corporation Exco has been doing some recruitments, promotions, deployments, direct appointments without following laid down due processes.
This according to sources at BPC has raised alarm across the country and caused panic with most employees fearing prospects of job losses.
At the helm of the secretive exercise is said to be the Chief Executive Officer David Kgoboko and General Manager – Transmission and Distribution, Gaothuse Bojosi.
The duo is said to be running the corporation ignoring governance processes and have allegedly developed a new structure which has never been shared with others including some of the Exco members and staff.
It is alleged that what triggered things were promotions, redeployments, transfers and dismissals with significant cases being that of Area Engineers (promotions), direct appointments of General Managers, dismissal of Customer Service Manager (CSM) and transfers of employees without prior consultation.
Kgoboko was in 2021 appointed CEO on a five-year work contract replacing German national, Dr. Stefan Schwarzfischer, who was allegedly fired by the board of directors. Bojosi joined BPC as Network Maintenance Manager in September 2018 and was appointed Transmission and Distribution General Manager in April this year.
It is alleged that the non-consultation for transfers is made a trap to fire those who resist to be transferred. Kgoboko and Bojosi have been fingered as the masterminds behind the whole exercise which has caused anxiety even at the BPC headquarters.
“Some of the positions there have not even been advertised. There have been direct appointments where there are no interviews of applicants as the policy requires.
“Some of the applicants brought in are as qualified and experienced as the internal staff members who have been overlooked. The criterion being used has not been defined,” a source said.
“There is also an issue of succession plan which has also been kept under wraps. There is no input from members of staff because in proper terms the plan which is created in Excel Document should have an input of staff in them availing their newly-acquired qualifications.
“Some of these people have taken themselves to school to improve their qualifications with the hope of being recognised under the succession plan. Now the Plan is only in the hands of a few and we cannot rule out the possibility of manipulating it to suit the interest of those in the Exco,” sources further revealed.
Another interesting development is alleged to be where an officer was moved from Operations Engineer to Area Engineer through a Direct Appointment and was within a week invited for an interview for the position of Customer Service Manager and was subsequently appointed CSM.
In the midst of all this, the BPC Workers Union (BPCWU) has also come under fire for sleeping with the enemy. The leadership of the union is accused of turning a blind eye in all the developments even though in the past it has been vocal when such matters arose.
There are claims that the Exco has captured the union which is why the union has failed to raise any red flags. It is alleged that the union leadership is conniving with the CEO and Bojosi in exchange for positions in the new structure.
While Bojosi is said to be at most the one running the show, the CEO is said to be a key player in all activities and both are said to be running the parastatal by intimidating staff members.
Upon joining the BPC Kgoboko had been adamant about transforming the beleaguered power utility. His key priority areas included focusing on promotion of safety, health and environment, improving the morale of the workforce, and ensuring effective corporate governance within the corporation.
He reiterated his commitment to turn around the fortunes of BPC, saying the institution has got challenges that require urgency to address. The CEO who was joining the corporation from Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) said his new assignment is not an easy one, vowing however to deliver on it. Kgoboko served as General Manager at MCM.
What also raises eyebrows at the power utility is that the Exco is expected to increase from 10 to 14. Currently there are 10 Exco members including the CEO. BPC has now gone on to create four new executive positions.
The positions are General Manager- Asset Management, General Manager- Procurement Services, General Manager Information Communications Technology Services, and General Manager Project. These portfolios are not in the old structure.
In the old structure there is CEO, Chief Finance Officer, General Manager- Human Resources, General Manager- Transmission and Distribution, Strategy and Transformation Manager, General Manager-Internal Audit, General Corporate Counsel, General Manager- Generation, SHER Manager and Marketing and Communications Manager.
BPCWU Chairman Patrick Siamang said as far as they know there is no restructuring at BPC. He said as stakeholders they would have been consulted. When asked if his union knew about the new developments at the parastatal, Siamang said those are administrative issues that have to be addressed by the BPC management.
“As the union we do not want to be seen to be overstepping our mandate. What you are asking me I believe is best answered by the BPC. As the union we have a cordial relationship with the BPC and its management which is why we are even assisting them in the implementation of the new strategy.
“We have even had a fruitful meeting recently in Palapye. As for the restructuring there is nothing but I agree that if a perception is not addressed it can be taken to be true so I guess the management is best placed to addressed the questions you raised,” the union leader retorted.
BPC has failed to respond to a questionnaire sent to them through their Marketing and Communications Manager Dineo Seleke on the 1st of July 2022. She had promised in vain to respond after several follow-ups one of which was made this week.