The management of Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) was at pains to explain why they employed an intern to a substantive position that she does not have requisite experience and academic qualifications for.
The Botswana Gazette is in possession of documents that show how an intern, Patience Motota, was elevated to the position of Student Records Officer despite not having any records management qualifications. The post is very important to the operations of BAC as it is responsible for providing support to students and academic departments through the provision of records management functions. Student Records Officer is also responsible for liaison with DTEF for student sponsorships.
BAC ran an internal advertisement for the position in October 2017 and the ideal candidate was required to have a Diploma in Records Management or any related field with at least 3 years post qualification experience in a tertiary setting. Motota however does not have any academic qualifications or experience related to records management as her curriculum vitae shows she graduated from Derby University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Enterprise. A leaked document however shows Motota won the hearts of five members of the BAC management who made up a panel that interviewed her and another shortlisted candidate in ‘‘structured interview questionnaire’’ that was administered and scored in a standardized manner, against the following; professional experience and training (background), generic competence and technical/professional knowledge and skills. By the time she was hired as Students Records Officer in 2017, Motota had not attained the requisite 3 years post qualification experience as she had only been with BAC as an intern since December 2015. Her previous employment record shows that she was an Accounts Assistant at Chamabona Junior Secondary School in 2014 and before then, she was an intern at LEA doing market analysis work.
BAC Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications Mpho Victoria Mokgosi did not provide specific answers to our enquiries but said the college has an internship program whose graduates are developed and may ultimately be absorbed by the college.
‘‘Ms Motota has been in the employment of BAC since December 2015 in the Admissions Department as an intern. During her internship, she was tasked with student information records and processing of student applications for admission’’, Mokgosi said. This assertion is however dismissed by those who worked with Motota at the Francistown campus where she did her internship. ‘‘She was only helping us with student applications but never did any records management work as there is no records personnel at our Francistown campus,’’ one of her former colleagues said.
Mokgosi however maintained that BAC has a recruitment process which follows human resources best practices and that BAC interns can apply and compete for vacant positions within the college. ‘‘They are in turn assessed on their capabilities and competencies against the job they applied for, to assess suitability into the roles,’’ she concluded.
Efforts to get comment from Motota were futile as she did not take our calls nor respond to the WhatsApp message despite an indication the message had been received and opened. Mokgosi however phoned to say her response covers both the institution and Motota.
The Botswana Gazette will afford Motota space anytime to state her side of the story should she seek to.