Mmegi Online :: Consultant throws Seretse, Morotsi under the bus
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Last Updated
Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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Consultant throws Seretse, Morotsi under the bus

Peace has evaded the newly-established Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) with the management team pitted against the Board.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Fri 24 Aug 2018, 12:25 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Consultant throws Seretse, Morotsi under the bus








The dispute emerged after the chief operations officer (COO) Duncan Morotsi was suspended for engaging a consultant without involving the Board.

In June, the BERA Board suspended Morotsi over the alleged improper appointment of a consultant, Edwin Kiddiffu from Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to the authority.

However Morotsi continued to work with the full support of the chief executive officer (CEO) Rose Seretse. It was later that the Board met again and Morotsi bowed out. He is said to have taken the matter to court.

According to a document seen by Mmegi, Morotsi and Seretse engaged Kiddiffu after they had met him during BERA visit to Tanzania on a benchmarking exercise. In a statement to investigators, the consultant said Morotsi paid for his upkeep and part of the payment physically.

Kiddiffu, who is the manager of legal services at EWURA, states in his sworn declaration that he was in March 2018 given an offer by BERA to provide consultancy services in preparation of legal instruments in the form of draft regulations and licence templates.

“The offer was made following a trip made by BERA Board members to EWURA offices in October 2017 in which Morotsi, Board member and Rose Seretse, the CEO of BERA expressed the idea of BERA benefiting out of our experience in preparation of regulatory tools,” read part of his statement. He emphasised that he was engaged in his individual capacity, and not for the organisation he works for.

He further stated that when he came to Botswana for his work, Morotsi welcomed him at the airport and checked him into Grand Palm Hotel. He said they negotiated his engagement at the same hotel with Morotsi and Seretse.

“Following our discussion, we agreed that the whole consultancy will cost $15,000 (about P159, 819.89 at the current rate), which will be paid in three installments upon submission of the draft instruments and satisfaction of BERA,” he stated.

He said he received the first $3, 000 in hard cash from Morotsi before he left Botswana while the $2000 was deposited into his account.

Kiddiffu then received $5, 000 in May and is yet to receive the last $5,000 though he completed his job as he

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was told there were concerns with the way he was given the job.

Further to that, Kiddiffu states that he was given daily upkeep allowance of P2, 500 in cash delivered to him by Morotsi at the hotel. Kiddiffu also attached an email sent to him by Morotsi copied to Seretse inviting him to come to Botswana to help with regulations as they had spoken when they met in Tanzania.

Contacted for a comment, Morotsi said he was aware of Kiddiffu’s submission and said there was nothing wrong with it.

“This was a management decision and there is nothing wrong that I did. One would wonder why I was suspended while my boss who was part of negotiating the deal is still at work.

“It is a witch-hunt as they suspect that I am the one who reported them to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) in a case they are allegedly being investigated for,” he said.

The DCEC is said to be investigating salary increments by the Board for themselves.

On him giving money in hard cash to Kiddiffu, Morotsi said the money was released by the finance department to the driver and he accompanied the driver to make the deliveries as he oversaw the deal.

BERA chairperson, Bernard Ndove and CEO Seretse could not be reached at press time as they were said to be travelling. But some of the Board members are wondering if this deal was above board.

“If it was above board, it must never have been negotiated as the organisation should have set aside a budget for consultancy work and sought bids from at least three consultants to compare the cost for doing the work,” one Board member said.

The Board member further said it was for this reason that Morotsi went to report some Board members for corruption to divert attention from himself.

“It is equally the reason why Seretse was so protective and defiant of the Board because she knew the role she played.

 If you join the dots, there is breach of basic corporate governance. Really why take the money to the hotel in cash and pay the other through the bank? What was the incentive to bring cash?”

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