The Copyrights Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) Chairperson Solomon Monyame has stepped down from the royalties’ collection organisation.
Monyame confirmed to The Botswana Gazette that he rescinded his position at the Extraordinary General (EOGM) meeting on Saturday called to discuss burning issues surrounding the review of the COSBOTS constitution, the disputed term of board members and the need to populate the board of directors with specialized professionals.
COSBOTS have been trending the news recently following allegations of maladministration by some disgruntled members and artists. Four weeks ago, the Copyright and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) which is the COSBOTS regulating body, commissioned an independent forensic auditor, Masitara Forensic Practice to investigate the damning allegations raised by some displeased members of the collecting society.
CIPA is investigating allegations drafted as a legal opinion by legal advisor, Pearl Mahlala, who was allegedly been fired by the COSBOTS board for breach of confidentiality after the damning report was leaked to the media. Mahlala has since refused to field questions from this publication regarding the legal opinion she authored raising concerns of corruption and maladministration by COSBOTS management.
Information reaching this publication is that board chairperson, Monyame, moved to dissolve the EOGM and subsequently resigned from the post. He briefly told this publication that the term of some board members had already lapsed, especially his and that of the deputy chair but said they stayed because the constitution does not allow for a vacuum as it only states that new board members can only be elected at an Annual General meeting which was previously slated for April 2016.
“We did not step down at first for operational purposes until the next AGM. However, some of the allegations raised in the legal opinion have not been rubbished, such as the constitutional review and the EOGM was to discuss a way forward on that in particular.” He explained that while CIPA is investigating past allegations, the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) cleared him of the accusations such those suggesting that COSBOTS corruptly appointed him to monitor copyright users as it was said to be conflicted at the time.
“When DCEC came to investigate, they discovered in the minutes that I had declared my interests to the CEO and the board. That was when they removed me from the procurement committee of CoSBOTS ever since. This issue is just being used by my rivals to motivate chaos at COSBOTS,”he claimed.