- Was fed up with being micromanaged by Minister Tshekedi
- He was due to retire in December 2018
- Sources say he was asked to stay as TK was slated for exit
The Director of Wildlife and National Parks Major General Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo has done a 360 on his decision to retire at the end of December 2018, as he had previously advised and has signed a 3-year contract with the department.
Insiders say the decision was actuated by the Khamas’ fall from grace especially Tshekedi Khama, who has been transferred to the Ministry to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“I can confirm that he has signed another three year contract with the Ministry,” confirmed the permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Thato Raphaka.
A source has revealed that Tiroyamodimo has “for a while been subjected to the dictates of the Khama family’s rule and tourism interests, most of which he had to rubber-stamp against his will.”
“In November, he was advised to stay as there was an pending ministerial cleansing and cabinet reshuffle where Tshekedi would be kicked out of the Tourism Ministry,” revealed our source.
Asked why he backtracked on his decision to resign, Tiroyamodimo said he made the decision after a discussion he had with people he refused to name.
“I made the decision after a discussion I had with some people,” he said and further denied that it was linked to Khama’s departure.
Towards the end of 2018 he had a final altercation with Minister Khama where they had differences over the department’s operations. Khama confirmed to this publication that he had a discussion with the director on delivery.
“Yes. We had a meeting and discussed his delivery,” Khama confirmed. Khama was quick to deny that he had been harassing industry leaders saying that he is merely hands on. “If the work is not being done I will push you and even interfere to advance the interests of the Ministry and the country” adding that some people perceive that as harassment, Tshekedi confirmed.
Still in 2018, Tiroyamodimo, a former soldier was forced to write the Botswana Defense Force a letter castigating them over alleged rampant poaching in some areas. The BDF confirmed receiving the letter from the department and questioned the motives of the letter further affirming their commitment to the anti poaching role.
“We were forced to engage Mike Chase to count our elephants while the department had the capacity to conduct such a research. We opposed the move, but the Minister’s word is final,” revealed our source from the department.
Tiroyamodimo’s deputy, Churchill Collyer who was due to retire in December has decided to go ahead with his retirement.
The duo joined the Ministry in 2015 with the aim of bringing life into a department that was on its knees.
Collyer deputized Tiroyamodimo in the overall management of operations of the department and coordinated all aspects of budget formulation, policy formulation analysis and implementation of government plans. He provided exceptional managerial and professional abilities in policy formulation analysis, implementation and evaluation.
Sources say the duo’s working relationship with Tshekedi Khama has been a torment as they were not in charge of the organization but rather worked on instructions from the minister and were regularly compelled to implement irrational decisions from him.
Tshekedi Khama has however denied the allegations, saying he won 37 awards with the Ministry.
This is not the first time departmental heads quit based on complaints against Khama. In 2016, the then head of Botswana Tourism Organisation, Thabo Dithebe told the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) that one of the reasons that created the chaos within BTO was because Khama was too operational and literally running BTO as his personal fiefdom.
The same was positions was adopted by former Permanent Secretary, now deputy permanent Secretary to the President, Ellias Magosi publically stated that he was forced into resignation by the situation at the Ministry, to take up a job at SADC. Magosi told PAC that Tshekedi did not consult him when making decisions at the Ministry.