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BERA forces out Morotsi

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Rose Seretse.PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Board on Wednesday called private security to evict troubled Chief Operations Officer Duncan Morotsi.

Chief Executive Officer Rose Seretse was allegedly forced by one faction of the Board led by Jonathan Moseki to write a termination letter for Morotsi and also issue a memo notifying staff members.

“Seretse was accused of colluding with Morotsi to undermine the Board resolution. They then threatened her and she bowed to the pressure and wrote the letters,” a source said.

In June 2018, 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.

An Independent Enquiry Panel was engaged by BERA to conduct a disciplinary enquiry against Morotsi between January and March this year.

On April 18, 2019 Ndove in his capacity as Board chairperson uplifted Morotsi’s suspension on the basis of the outcome of the disciplinary action. The panel had stated that Morotsi’s disciplinary hearing be rescinded and he be reinstated, as it had taken long for the Board to act.

On April 26, after Morotsi returned to work, Board member Jonathan Moseki wrote to him (Morotsi) setting aside Ndove’s reinstatement letter.

He stated that Ndove had no authority to reinstate Morotsi hence he set the letter aside.

Moseki stated that Morotsi had the right to state his case and his right to cross-examine any witnesses who presented evidence against him as well as calling witnesses in support of his defence. Moseki stated that Morotsi elected not to do so and deliberately deterred the panel from considering the charges.

“The Board views this as a

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deliberate attempt to preserve yourself from having to answer to the charges levelled against you because you had no plausible defence against your actions. Your conduct, in all fairness, amounted to blatant abuse of process when the Board tried to subject you to a disciplinary enquiry,” reads the letter.

Following the expulsion, Morotsi engaged Segaise Attorneys who then wrote to Moseki stating that the decision to expel Morotsi was null, void and illegal. Mooketsi Segaise instructed Morotsi to act on the basis of the  April 18 letter from the chairperson and to continue reporting for duty until such a time that the said letter would have been revoked by a court of law.

Following his eviction on Wednesday, Morotsi said he would stay home for now but maintained he is still a BERA employee.

“I am a man of dignity. I cannot go and fight with security guards when I am supposed to be at work. I will in the mean time be home. They have to get a court order to expel me as my lawyer has stated,” he said.

Morotsi believes he is being targeted as the Board members he reported to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for unlawfully getting money from the authority.

With the on-going bickering at the Authority, the Ministry is said to be concerned and plans to dissolve the Board are said to be underway. Permanent Secretary Cornelius Dekop could not be reached at print time to state their position.



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