BB CEO AMIDST ‘SEXUAL HARASSMENT’ STORM

BB CEO AMIDST ‘SEXUAL HARASSMENT’ STORM

After having been suspended on allegations of ‘sexual harassment’ Dr. Racious Moatshe, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Business Botswana, responded with a letter of resignation, and is said have landed the CEO position at the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

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Dr Moatshe (Pic:MONIRUL BHUIYAN/PRESS PHOTO)

• BB President confirms harassment allegations
• Launches an investigation • Disciplinary hearing next week
• Moatshe slated for LEA CEO job

After having been suspended on allegations of ‘sexual harassment’ Dr. Racious Moatshe, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Business Botswana, responded with a letter of resignation, and is said have landed the CEO position at the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

Dr. Moatshe, the CEO of Business Botswana for just under 2 years tendered his resignation on Wednesday. The resignation, which is with immediate effect has been confirmed by Lekwalo Mosienyane, the President of Business Botswana. The Business Weekly & Review has learnt that Dr. Moatshe will begin his new role as CEO of LEA in October, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse confirmed to this publication when answering to staff reporters questions. “It’s true. We have appointed him after protocol was followed.” Seretse said in phone call interview. The ministry has oversight of LEA.

Moatshe’s resignation comes a day after Mosienyane issued the CEO a “notice of suspension’ pending investigations into allegations of sexual harassment, The Business Weekly & Review established. The suspension comes on the back of allegations by two female employees at Business Botswana who have spoken out on what they say is an increasing culture of unacceptable behaviour within the organisation. According to the allegations, which have not been established, the CEO was nurturing a culture of sexual harassment. The complainants made their submissions, in August, before the organizations leader, Mosineyane accusing Dr Moatshe and calling for action to be taken.
The duo who Mosienyane declined to name, allege that the CEO was exercising excessive authority to vindicate his conduct against them, according Mosienyane. “They wrote a letter to me making the allegations,” he adds.

On August 28th, the matter was passed to the CEO’s office who had undertaken to respond to the allegations but had failed to do so. After more than two weeks since receiving the complaints, Dr. Moatshe’s failure to respond resulted in the organization opting to suspend him until investigations are complete. Dr. Moatshe did not take calls from this publication: “Sorry. I can’t talk right now. Call back later.” He responded by text.

In spite of tendering his letter of resignation, Mosienyane says Dr. Moatshe will appear before the disciplinary committee next week. “We are not finished with him. We have appointed external disciplinary inquiry to investigate the matter,” he said.  Unbeknown to them at the time, Dr Moatshe had already been selected to replace Dr. Tebogo Matome, whose contract with LEA ended in August. Contractually Moatshe ought to have given a months’ notice before vacating his post, subject to his employer accepting his resignation, alternatively he may have opted to terminate on payment of notice in terms of his contract. Neither option has been exercised.

Minister Seretse while speaking to The Business Weekly & Review confirmed the appointment of Moatshe was to be with immediate effect. According to Business Botswana, Dr. Moatshe, produced the letter of resignation a mere two weeks before he heads to LEA, and shortly after the damaging allegations arose.  LEA’s top post fell vacant two weeks ago after Dr. Matome’s term came to an end at the end of August. The board of directors opted not to renew his contract.

Matome’s contract ended two years ago (then under five year term) but had been extended for two years by the Board to ensure continuity in the various projects under his supervision. LEA insiders point out that the two years was meant to give Matome time to wind up and handover ongoing projects so as to avoid disrupting the organization.
This week Minister Seretse said after all protocol had been observed the ministry had settled for Dr. Moatshe, though insiders had assumed that one of the two employees who deputized Dr. Matome, and were well versed with LEA operations, would have been elevated to LEA’s highest office.

As CEO, Dr. Matome fetched over P50 000 in monthly earnings. The appointment of Moatshe to LEA shatters the aspirations of the organisation’s two Deputy CEOs who had both been hoping to be elevated to the highest office. Cosmas Moapare, has been Deputy CEO, Support Services for quite some time now. Masego Magwaila-Madanika is the other Deputy CEO, responsible for Client Services.

While Dr. Moatshe seems to be opting for greener pastures, LEA itself is not without controversy. Over the years, management of the quasi-governmental institution have been accused ‘harassment’ and frustrating staff members. The conditions under which employees operate, according to the complaints has resulted in the organisation having one of the highest staff turnovers amongst parastatals in Botswana, at around 14 percent. Management has refuted these allegations blaming the high staff turnover rate on low salaries, which push staff to greener pastures.

Additional attempts to reach Moatshe for comment have remained unanswered. The allegations made against him are the subject matter of a disciplinary inquiry and remain to be scrutinised as against his version of events.