SEROWE: A department at the Serowe Administrative Authority has been rocked by allegations of favouritism, nepotism and corruption involving recruitment process.
The claims have triggered a hullabaloo in Serowe at the council’s Fire Department where it is alleged that two senior officers ‘connived’ two months ago to facilitate for a jobseeker, related to one of them to get the job of a leading fireman( II) without declaring their interests. Allegations reaching Mmegi indicate that it all started on March 22, 2021 in Serowe where interviews for the vacant positions of leading fireman (ii) under the Fire Department were conducted.
Amongst others in attendance during the interviews was the head of the fire department, Lindani Maphorisa and his colleague and close confidante Moagi Gareebine. Also in attendance were officers from the administration and human resource departments of the council.
The allegations further show that during the interviews there was one woman identified as Sethunya Mboma who is a confirmed girlfriend to Gareebine, a leading fireman who was also in the panel that interviewed Mboma and others on the day and possibly recommended her for the job.
The allegations received by Mmegi indicate that, Maphorisa as the department head was at the time of the interviews allegedly aware of the relationship between Gareebine and the interviewee, Mboma. A tip off received by Mmegi indicates that knowingly that Gareebine and Mboma were his friends, the department head, Maphorisa reportedly failed to declare his interest in the recruitment process and duly recused himself as he was diametrically conflicted. Even Gareebine as an officer in the department that was recruiting and duly partook in a panel allegedly failed to declare his interest by virtue of his relationship with Mboma.
Other allegations against Maphorisa and Gareebine are that, they had allegedly, prepared Mboma for the recruitment process which was reportedly tedious with physical and written tests. In defence of his department and the role he played in the recent recruitment process, Maphorisa vehemently denied the allegations of nepotism, favoritism and corruption leveled against him and his colleague Gareebine.
“I don’t know that woman,” he paused and quickly added: “I know the people that I work with and not their partners or friends.” His position was that before he conducted the interviews, he had duly declared his interest, “to be fair and objective in the execution of the recruitment process.”
He also explained that the recruitment process had a written and physical tests and to the best of his knowledge there were other officers from the administration and human resource departments in the panel. “The process was fair and transparent to everybody and no one was favoured in anyway as the objective was to get the best people for the job,” he said and indicated that for a person that he knew there was no way he could have not declared his interest in the matter. His further explanation was that, he met Mboma for the first time during the interviews just like the rest of the people who had turned up for the interviews.
On the day of the interviews, there were two groups of interviews for new recruits for the position of leading fireman ( ii) and firemen (i) from stations in the CDC. Maphorisa was insistent that, “unless people have declared or introduced their relatives or friends during processes like interviews to me, I wouldn’t really know who is related to who.” His colleague, Gareebine who is a leading fireman couldn’t deny that he participated in the recruitment process of his girlfriend Mboma last March. “Sethunya is my girlfriend.
I was not on duty on the day of the recruitment process,” he insisted. Pressed further, Gareebine conceded that he was on duty on the day and would later be called to, “assist take the records of the interviewees, and that is, time keeping records amongst others.” He explained: “I and Maphorisa, who is the head of the department, we are colleagues. If you are colleagues you are friends.”
He however, claimed that he was not aware if Maphorisa knew that Mboma was his girlfriend even during the time of recruitment. Mboma couldn’t hide the fact that Gareebine is her boyfriend. Quizzed about how the relationship has helped her get the job in the fire department, she could only say, “I can confirm that Gareebine is my boyfriend but, as to how I landed the job, I can only refer you to the council’s human resource department, as they are the people who deal with recruitment.”
She wasn’t ready to say how Gareebine’s friendship with his boss, Maphorisa had benefitted her in getting the job. She was also reluctant to confirm that it was Gareebine who helped her get the job through providing her with inside information and favoring her amongst others who had turned up for the interviews. Serowe-based council secretary, Godimo Garegope was shocked this week following allegations of nepotism, favoritism and corruption rocking the CDC when quizzed about the development. “It’s news to us,” he said and promised that, “Otherwise, I would have taken appropriate action.
To be honest with you, I am not aware of such a development.” His position was that if the truth about the matter was established, the whole affair smacks of corruption and “appropriate action will definitely be taken to correct the matter if anyone is found to be in the wrong.” He concedes that it’s a matter that requires proper and thorough investigations as it potentially could ruin the reputation of the council.