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BIDPA employees decry favouritism

PINI BOTHOKO
BIDPA headquarters
Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) employees have cried foul over favoritism of some workers and seek intervention into the matter.

The workers disclosed their grievances in a letter that they recently wrote to the Board chairperson.

They alleged in the letter that due to weak leadership and failed processes, strategic corporate governance has deteriorated significantly and favouritism and mismanagement have flourished unchecked.

The workers revealed that for a considerable time their executive director (ED) Dr Tebogo Seleka, particularly in his first term, performed his managerial responsibilities fairly well but towards the middle of his last term his management style became heavily characterised by autocracy and favouritism.

They charged during his first term,  through his leadership Seleka managed to catapult BIDPA to a number one think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa. The employees accused the ED of rewarding his favourites and in the process victimising others for reasons known to him.

The dejected workers further alleged that in flagrant abuse of power, Seleka unilaterally, and  without consulting the management committee, settled a P500,000 bond for another employee with their former employer.

The employee, they alleged, has since entered into a new bond with BIDPA. They argued that the bond with BIDPA was entered into more than a year after the said employee was hired by BIDPA, something they viewed as a clear indication that it was not part of the recruitment process.  They added that if that was the case, the move constituted a clear case of abuse of public funds.

Employees said unlike their favoured colleague, there were several unfortunate BIDPA employees who have paid their own bonds when they left their former employers to join BIDPA. 

They said there was no transparency because if they had known of the facility, the employees who needed it could have used it.

Furthermore, the employees

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claimed during performance appraisals the said officer was given favourable reviews and as a result was unduly rewarded.

They further alleged that a senior officer in terms of experience and competence was overlooked for the training slot and the said favourite officer was chosen instead.

Another matter of concern according to the workers involved an intern who joined BIDPA from a certain university in the USA, who was placed under the direct supervision of the said favourite officer.

They alleged that the said intern was paid P 8,000 per month for six months, something they pointed out as favouritism because of his association with the said officer, being that such benefit has never been extended to any intern at BIDPA before.

The employees went on to accuse Seleka of abuse of resources because he owneds two cars bought by the institute.

They alleged Seleka has frustrated employees’ efforts to dispose of his first vehicle, reported to have recently been cited as an audit query by the institute’s internal auditors.

Moreover, the workers claimed Seleka has deliberately put their safety at risk in spite of him knowing that the BIDPA building required major repairs. They revealed that BIDPA could have relocated to another building after it was identified four years ago, but could not on account that there was no restroom for him (the ED).

They said the pending relocation of the institute would have saved a lot on construction cost escalations and rentals.

Workers further raised concern over derailed emphasis on isolated aspects of the institution’s mandate, failure to empower staff to localise senior research positions and Seleka’s plan to stay on at the end of his second contract.



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