Three weeks ago this publication sent a questionnaire to Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) seeking to establish the reason behind its total lack of citizen employment as lecturers at the BAC School of Business and Leisure, Francistown Campus. The institution’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications provided unsolicited information; ‘‘To date, BAC has graduated more than ten thousand professionals across various disciplines. Our alumni include industry leaders such as BAC Executive Director Ms Serty Leburu, FNBB CEO Steven Bogatsu to mention a few’’.
The Botswana Gazette had not sought information on BAC graduates but the college opted to circumvent the question asked; ‘‘how many foreigners are employed at the BAC School of Business and Leisure as lecturers and how many are locals?’’
Investigations have since established the basis for BAC’s elusive response to the question, as it has come to light that all lecturers at the Francistown campus are foreigners who graduated from the same university in Zimbabwe and were interviewed through Skype from the comfort of their homes in Zimbabwe, further investigations reveal that one of the recruitment panellists graduated from the same university.
The Botswana Gazette is in possession of the Interview Report prepared by the BAC Human Resource Department, dated 18 May 2018 and marked ‘private and confidential’ which gives an insight into the irregular recruitment system applied by BAC management when hiring foreigners to positions that Batswana qualify for.
The report reveals that in one instance, positions advertised for Senior Lecturers in Tourism Management were downgraded during the shortlisting stage of hiring, when it was discovered that some of the preferred candidates did not qualify however, instead of disqualifying the candidates, the “position was downgraded to a Lecturer position and some respondents were shortlisted under it’’.
The report goes further to reveal that the initial shortlist consisted two (2) Senior Lecturers, however it transpired that one Senior Lecturer candidate was omitted during the scheduling of interviews and instead ‘‘a non-shortlisted candidate was invited’’.
The internal BAC Report found that to address the irregularity a solution had to be found, “As a solution the non-qualifying candidate was scheduled for Lecturer position interview making total number of Lecturers to four. On the other hand, the omitted candidate was called, and arrangements were made to interview her through Skype’’.
The initial interview panel, setup by the Human Resource Manager comprised of Acting Director School of Business and Leisure Aubrey Mbewe, College Registrar William Sekgatsa, Course Manager Tsitsi Chipfuva, HR Manager Patrick Mosimanewakgosi and HR Practitioner Clement Kebadile as the secretary to the panel.
However, the Deputy Executive Director Academic Affairs Byron Brown objected to the panel setup and raised concerns over the inclusion of the College Registrar in the panel. Brown opted to invite a Lecturer, Isaac Gondwe to replace Sekgatsa. ‘‘Deputy Executive Director Byron Brown also opted himself to sit in the panel and be part of the interviews’’, the report reveals. Investigations reveal that Brown’s position within BAC does not involve recruitment.
The BAC Francistown Campus comprises of a total of 7 lecturers. Chipfuva, the Course Manager allegedly graduated from Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe together with other lecturers (names known to this publication) who are said to have also graduated from, two lecturers are alleged to be blood relatives and the other three are in-laws.
A Motswana, who previously worked for Limkokwing University for three and half years as a Head of Faculty was scored 48 percent during the interview. The report indicates that the Motswana candidate had worked as a programmes developer for various tertiary institutions and that the candidate had been previously engaged by BQA in assessing programmes but had performed poorly during the interview because according to the report, ‘‘even though she seemed to have a vast experience in the industry, she failed to express herself adequately’’.
However, a certain Clave Sheunopa Hove was interviewed and scored 64 percent despite being mistakenly invited for the interview. At the time of his interview he was yet to submit his dissertation for Masters in June 2018. Hove was a lecturer at GIPS and served as a part time lecturer at BAC Francistown campus. ‘‘He vaguely articulated himself throughout the interview owing to inadequate exposure in most areas’’, the report indicates but goes further to explain he impressed the panel due to his ‘‘theoretical knowledge than practical (experience)’’.
Another candidate, Winnet Masikati was interviewed through Skype from Zimbabwe and the panel allowed the interview to go ahead and scored her 61 percent despite the fact that ‘‘the panel could not see the candidate as the candidate had some technicalities with her camera’’. The interview proceeded solely with audio and without visuals. She was interviewed for Senior Lecturer position and while she scored the 61 percent, it was recorded that ‘‘she was not very familiar with some online systems for teaching and assessing student learning i.e. blackboard’’.
Mariam Chingwe Mawoza’s interview was rescheduled after she disclosed that she would not be in a position to be interviewed on Friday 18th May after 6pm ‘‘due to her religious values’’. She had stated in her curriculum vitae that she is partly engaged with Botswana Qualifications Authority. ‘‘However, the panel pestered her with questions on her assessment role at BQA and she couldn’t clearly drive her points home’’, the report states.
Despite not having a role to play in the recruitment process, the report states that the interviews were delayed because Deputy Executive Director Brown had other engagements and ‘‘the interviews couldn’t continue in his absence’’
After the interviews were done, the HR Manager told the panel that he will issue a report but Deputy Executive Director Academic Affairs Byron Brown ‘‘insisted that he will compile his report to be incorporated in the final interview report, he was however, advised that the interview report should not be subject to panellist’s input’’. The Panel dispersed before making recommendations, ‘‘despite the emphasis made by the HR manager that this has to be done immediately and it would not take a long time’’. The report noted that, ‘‘Brown indicated that he was boarding a flight hence he couldn’t wait to discuss the outcome of the interviews’’.
BAC head of Marketing and Corporate Communications Mpho Victoria Mokgosi has informed Botswana Gazette that positions at BAC are advertised locally and regionally to attract qualified candidates with relevant qualifications and experience. ‘‘In that regard the BAC recruitment process is transparent and candidates are shortlisted, interviewed and hired based on their qualifications, experience, capabilities and competencies against the job they applied for, to assess sustainability into the roles’’, she said.