Mmegi Online :: Mabeo summoned on Brazil trip
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Thursday 13 December 2018, 12:33 pm.
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Mabeo summoned on Brazil trip

The Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies has summoned Transport and Communications minister, Tshenolo Mabeo to answer for a trip he undertook to Brazil to identify aircraft that Air Botswana could buy for re-fleeting.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Thu 22 Sep 2016, 16:27 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Mabeo summoned on Brazil trip








Revelations of Mabeo’s trip raised eyebrows within the committee, as Air Botswana bosses said they had refused to go because consultants had already been engaged to identify aircraft suppliers. The committee was informed last week that Mabeo took the trip regardless with an Air Botswana engineer and other aviation officials.

Together with his permanent secretary Neil Fitt, Mabeo is expected to appear during the first week of October to answer for the trip and also explain why the organisation spent four months without a board.

Mabeo is also expected to tell the committee why he dissolved Air Botswana’s board and why the situation has prevailed for some time. Meanwhile, Fitt will have to explain why he carried out the mandate of the board, which is against the Air Botswana Act.

Air Botswana acting general manager, Agnes Khunwane last week told the committee that Mabeo took the trip with Fitt and an aircraft engineer, Karabo Chibane from Air Botswana. A total of P110,000 was spent from Air Botswana’s threadbare coffers for Chibane’s trip and allowances.

Khunwane told the committee that she and the board distanced themselves from the trip, which also had representatives from stakeholders including the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB)

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and Ayata, a consultancy working on the organisation’s turnaround strategy. Legislators questioned why only three companies would be listed as possible suppliers and the rationale of Mabeo visiting them, while the consultant was busy finalising the process. Air Botswana, Khunwane said, had spent P10 million on ICF Management Consultants working on a five-year strategy, with a further P1.8 million spent on the validation of the strategy, as it was a year behind schedule. The strategy includes networking and re-fleeting and Khunwane said there was hence no need for Mabeo or anyone else to go directly to scout potential suppliers.

Khunwane said they were told about the trip to visit three airplane suppliers in Brazil and that the board chairman, Tebogo Masire, rejected the invitation to go to prevent the in-house process from being disturbed.

“We did not see the value of the minister’s trip as we were on track with our process. The board expressed displeasure at the move and told the minister that they wanted to be allowed to work with minimal interference,” she said.  The consultant whom Mabeo travelled with, is expected to make a final recommendation on what aircraft to buy on October 4.

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