University of Botswana (UB) has apologised and dropped charges against its deputy director in the Department of Human Resources after charging her with misconduct and putting her on suspension.
The deputy director, Beatrice Makhwade was accused of taking contract letters from confidential files of some of the former university directors and was to go before disciplinary hearing when she successfully interdicted the proceedings through a court order that was done by consent on February 4, 2020.
Makhwade, who has been employed by UB since 1995 and served in various positions before being promoted to deputy director in 2016, received a letter of withdrawal of charges yesterday.
Contained in the letter of withdrawal from acting director of Human Resources, the university apologised for inconveniences caused to her by the said charges.
“This serves to inform you that, the disciplinary charge levelled against you is herewith withdrawn with immediate effect. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the said charge letter,” reads the letter.
According to the documents, Makhwade was suspended on allegations of misconduct on full pay from August 15, 2019.
Then, on January 20, 2020 she was furnished with a letter indicating that there was misconduct on her part and that she was charged with “willful dishonesty against the employer, another employee, or a customer or client of the employer”.
“I have received and assessed the Report placed before me and the evidence presented indicates that there is likelihood that a serious misconduct has been committed. The investigations on allegations of serious misconduct,” reads the letter.
According to the particulars of the offence, it was alleged that on August 6, 2019 the UB Protection Services was alerted through the UB Management of possible serious misconduct on her part.
She was accused of wilfully and unlawfully taking copies of contract letters from confidential personal files of some former UB directors, namely Professors, Thapisa, Mgadla, Masamba, Ringrose, Dr Rasebotsa and Dr Nhundu without express authority from the employer and used them for personal research, which was not in the normal course of the UB business nor academic activity.
“Neither the employer nor the employees were informed of the purpose to retrieve information from personal confidential files,” read the documents.
The documents further indicated that when she was requested to share the contract letters she retrieved without authority, she responded that she shredded the copies and that she was willing to share the research, which was on her laptop.
Despite saying she shredded the copies, she was accused of giving the copies to another employee who was facing disciplinary proceedings and that the employee had presented the copies to the disciplinary committee for her defence.
Attorney Uyapo Ndadi represented Makhwade while Chibanda Makgalemele and Company represented UB.