- Contract ended a month ago
- Board recommended renewal – allegation.
- Molale turned board down – allegation.
Government, led by Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Eric Molale has taken a decision not to renew the employment contract for Botswana Oil Limited (BOL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Willie Mokgatlhe for unclear reasons.
This newspaper has established that Mokgatlhe’s employment contract ended on September 2018, about two months ago. Mokgatlhe himself confirmed that government was yet to renew his contract but did not go into details when probed further. He directed this reporter to Board Chairman Dr. Joel Sentsho.
Contacted, Dr. Sentsho confirmed that the contract ended in September and that it is yet to be renewed. Asked why, he said the board was still looking into the matter and that the board should be given more time to resolve the matter.
It is alleged that the board of directors of the government-owned petroleum company led by Chairman Dr. Joel Sentsho resolved to have Mokgatlhe’s contract renewed. Other board members are Stephen Kebakile, Batsho Dambe-Groth Ogomoditse Maruapula and Golekanye Rabasha. It is also alleged that Molale threw the board’s recommendations out through the window and chose not to give Mokgatlhe another term.
At a press conference held at Avani last week, Molale chose not to reveal why Mokgatlhe’s contract was not renewed.
Efforts to press Molale further on the matter were futile. His mobile phone was unanswered, neither did he respond to text messages.
Those in the know say that Molale is allegedly unhappy with the way Mokgatlhe handled an application to have BOL granted an exclusive Oil import license, which led to the Minister questioning Mokgatlhe’s decision making and strategic direction at the government oil company.
Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), the petroleum and gas regulator gave Botswana Oil the thumbs down, after the latter applied to be the sole importer of petroleum and related services in Botswana. The verdict, which was delivered by BERA Chairperson Bernard Ndove, maintains the status quo, which permits multinational companies in the sector to participate in importing petroleum and petroleum products into the country.