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Fako to return to UB as Prof

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  • Fako appointed Sociology professor before his resignation as VC
  • Fako on 12 month sabbatical leave before resuming duties, reports for duty in 2018

TEFO PHEAGE

Professor Thabo Fako’s decision to resign from the institution as Vice-Chancellor (VC) last month, was pre-empted by contract negotiations over a year ago. Documents availed to this publication reveal that Prof. Fako entered into a contract providing for his return to the University as a Professor in the Sociology Department, while he was Vice- Chancellor.
Fako recently resigned following increasing criticism of his administration from the student community and UB staff. In spite of such criticisms information gathered by this publication is that Fako has been redeployed back to the Department of Sociology where he started his career with a three years fixed term contract. The leaked information reveals that Fako was offered a contract that specifically provided his return as a sociology lecturer prior to his resignation from the chancellorship position; the highest position within the institution’s hierarchy.
In a letter dated 8th March 2017 from the Department of Human Resources (HR) to Fako, HR director Lucy Machiba replied to a letter from Fako stating that, “Your letter dated 19th February 2017, on the above subject matter makes reference. Following the termination of your contract of employment as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Botswana and pursuant to clause 17 of the said contract, you shall revert to your fixed term contract as Professor at the Department of Sociology with effect from the 18th February 2017.”
Clause 17 of the contract provides that Fako, on resignation as Vice Chancellor will revert back to his former department as a Professor on such terms as may apply to the post at the time of his return. The contract further provides that he will resume his official duties following completion of a
12 month sabbatical, “in the event that the employee ceases to be the Vice Chancellor before the end of his contract or in any event at the end of his current tenure in office as Vice-Chancellor, he shall be granted twelve (12) months sabbatical leave and revert to his fixed term contract as Professor of Sociology on such terms as apply to the position at the time”.
The letter from the HR director copied to, among others the acting Vice-Chancellor, further says that “by copy of this letter, the Director, Financial Services is advised to adjust your remuneration in accordance with your employment contract and also ensure that before any money due to you is released, you are properly cleared in respect of university property that you were allocated by virtue of being the Vice Chancellor”.
The terms of the contract do not require his position to be advertised as it has been contractually provided for leaving no room for the university to negotiate in the event a substantive position is not available.
Fako goes on sabbatical leave before resuming duties
Fako return will be preceded by his taking a 12 month Sabbatical leave before assuming his new post. While the sabbatical leave would be in recognition of his time served as the Vice Chancellor the UB conditions of service which stipulate that an employee can only go on sabbatical leave after five years continuous service in his current post.
A letter from Fako to the head of the Sociology department dated 16 March 2017 reads that, “I wish to confirm that we (Malila-Fako) held a meeting on or about 21 February, the purpose of which was to report for duty to the Head of the Department of Sociology.”
The letter further reads, “At that meeting, I noted that it was my understanding that the commencement of my sabbatical leave and redeployment to the department in terms of clause 17 of my employment contract as Vice Chancellor was with effect from 18th February 2017, which was a day after I ceased to be the vice chancellor.”
Fako continues that he subsequently received confirmation from the Director, Human Resources that his three year fixed contract as professor in the Department of Sociology was with effect from 18th February 2017. “It is my understanding that sabbatical leave granted to me in terms of clause 17 referred to above commenced on 18th February 2017 and should end 12 months later on 17th February, 2018”. Fako concludes by saying that he should be grateful for the director’s assistance with office allocation, acquisition of a laptop computer as well as electronic and access to UB amenities in his capacity as Professor in the department.
Fako had not answered this publication’s calls and text messages for the most part of Monday.

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