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Mendis’ nemesis returns to haunt BSE

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  • Sacked IT manager wants over P3m compensation
  • Mendis accused of corruption in ATS tender bid
  • Company from Mendis’ home country won P8million tender

VINCENT MATUMO

The case in which former Information Technology manager of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is suing for P3 million following a summary dismissal has returned to haunt the company.Moefangedi Makwaeba was dismissed with immediate effect, on the 25th of October 2011 despite a court interdict issued by the Industrial Court three months earlier barring any disciplinary proceedings against him. The case returned to court last week (6 July) for a status hearing, and will resume on the 9th and 12th of December.
Makwaeba is demanding a 60 months compensation of his monthly salary of just over P50,000 after being aggrieved by how he was dismissed by the BSE. His removal was precipitated by the concerns he had raised about possible irregularities in the procurement of an P8 million automated trading system which the BSE wanted to procure to replace the old open outcry trading system. He had claimed that former Chief Executive Officer, Hiran Mendis, an Iran national, had secretly met with bidders before the purchasing of the system, thereby making the integrity of the process questionable.
However, explaining circumstances around his meeting with a bidder who eventually won the tender, Mendis told a special investigations panel headed by Rizwan Desai that he met Mr Jit Senevirate, a representative of Millenium IT, on 16 November 2009 and gave him P500 to pay for his VISA as he did not have Botswana Pula on him. Senevirate was due to make a presentation to the tender evaluation committee the next day.
The investigation panel however did not find any fault with what Mendis did and advised Makwaeba to apologise to both Mendis and the Tender Evaluation Committee for bringing the BSE into disrepute with “unsubstantiated allegations.”The panel had also said that “the marked deterioration of the relationship between the CEO of the BSE and its IT manager is symptomatic of potential disharmony and disunity across the various groupings of senior managers at the BSE.”
Makwaeba was a member of the six-member Tender Evaluation Committee along with Mendis, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, BSE executives and Geoffrey Bakwena, a stock broker. The committee was however cut to three by the Ministry of Finance, leaving only Mendis and two others to oversee the final stage of the technical evaluation for the tender.
Makwaeba queried his consequent removal from the committee, saying the remaining committee members would not be involved in the implementation of the automated trading system once the tender had been awarded.
The automated trading system itself was installed in 2008.

 

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

2009
Makwaeba sat on Tender Evaluation Committee for procurement of BSE’s Automated Trading System

 
2010
In March, Makwaeba wrote to Main Committee of the BSE raising concerns about the evaluation process being compromised by certain individuals
On  28th July the Main Committee wrote to Makwaeba instructing him to apologise to Mendis within 14 days

 
2011
6th June Makaeba receives notice of hearing
29th July, the Industrial Court orders that disciplinary action against Makwaeba be permanently stayed, with BSE interdicted from initiating further disciplinary action against him.
25th October Makwaeba is issued summary dismissal by Main Committee of the BSE

 
2016
6th July Status meeting at the Industrial Court
9th and 12th December The case to resume at Industrial Court

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