- Rose Seretse found to have abused BERA resources – Court
- Minister Lefoko Moagi promises action will be taken
- Minister awaits the conclusion of justice process
Should Rose Seretse, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Botswana Energy Regulatory (BERA) fail to successfully appeal an Industrial Court ruling which found that she abused BERA office and resources for her own vindictive agenda, her board, under the supervision of the Minister will be forced to punish her.
“If at the end of the day any officer at BERA is found to have abused his/her office and used public resources inappropriately, the board of directors of BERA will be expected to take appropriate action, however, we must wait for the legal process to be concluded and not rush into action at this stage,” said Lefoko Moagi, Minister for Mineral Resources, Green Technology & Energy. He was responding to a question from The Botswana Gazette which sought to establish whether the Minister was aware of the recent judgment against BERA and its captains. It also sought to establish how the Minister will react to that.
Moagi said he was aware of the judgment and that he wanted the legal process to be concluded before any action is taken.
In a dramatic irony, the court found former head of anti-corruption agency- Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) guilty of a corrupt conduct in which Seretse used public funds to wage a vindictive personal campaign to punish a whole Finance department of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) that questioned her irregular financial transactions to lead a life of sumptuous luxury at the expense of the taxpayer.
The court reached this decision at the end of a case in which Chawada Machacha, Finance Director had asked the court to nullify BERA’s decision to dismiss her from work. Subsequent to her dismissal, Machacha took the matter to the Industrial Court where she challenged her dismissal and sought an order declaring Seretse as being in contempt of an earlier court order that interdicted Seretse against subjecting Machacha to a disciplinary hearing.
By dismissing Machacha against an earlier court order interdicting her disciplinary hearing, Seretse was indeed found to have been in contempt of court.
Machacha was represented by Gaoboi Legal Consultants Modimo & Associates represented BERA. In the judgement, Justice Bahuma described BERA’s dismissal of Machacha from work as “clearly vindictive”.
The judge said what is more reprehensive was that a public office and public resources were employed to achieve objectives that were totally non-beneficial to BERA. Hitting hard at the BERA leadership, Justice Bahuma said they acted in a carefree manner that warranted an order of costs. In the judge’s view, leaders of public institutions are custodians of societal hopes and aspirations and society does not expect them to pursue courses that bring into question the integrity of the organisations they lead. Efforts to reach BERA board chairperson Boineelo Lobelo were futile.