Thuso Rehabilitation Centre management is reportedly at loggerheads with the Ministry of Health over the appointment of a Director and Deputy Director at the center, vacancies which have not been filled for some years now.
According to sources the ministry which funds the centre, has rejected applicants appointed by the board and has since refused to pay their salaries for the past five months.
It is reported that the Centre has previously discussed the matter with the ministry with the view to recommend the then acting director of the initials, S. Buka who is foreign national for appointment substantively. The ministry however is said to have then turned down the recommendation on the bases that the position is reserved for citizens only. An advert was then circulated, clearly stating that only citizens can apply for the position.
A panel was then established to facilitate the selection process and recommend to the board which is the appointing authority. According to information, the board later met and looked at the recommendations but it was discovered that the advert was not adhered to by the panel and no waiver was proffered for the short listing of and recommending the same foreigner previously rejected by the ministry.
It is said that the board then chose to follow the advert as citizens with relevant qualifications had applied. The board subsequently appointed a Motswana Director, Jerson Kazombungo in line with what the ministry had previously demanded.
On the position of Deputy Director documents before the board reportedly showed that the person recommended had failed to meet the requirements of the advert including a simple matter of certifying documents submitted.
“Worse still the notes showed that the candidate has not been recommended so it then fell off,” read part of the documents availed to this publication. The board reportedly then decided to appoint, Lenah Shiko for the position of Deputy Director as she is said to have met the criteria prescribed in the advert.
The decision was reportedly communicated to the ministry immediately after the applicants had accepted to start work on the 8th of November last year. The ministry is said to have however responded almost immediately saying that they are sending the information to their legal counsel and to date this is awaited.
“Note that we had made people to resign their positions and therefrom we could not wait indefinitely. When a month had passed we were compelled to allow the applicants to assume duty and communicated the same to the ministry. Immediately the ministry wrote a threatening letter which said the ministry will not pay the appointed people,” read the documents from the centre.
A meeting between the centre and ministry following lengthy communication reportedly resolved that the board should meet the District Commissioner to present the issue which it did. The DC is said to have also found no fault in the process. The outcome of the meeting was then communicated to the ministry and surprisingly the ministry reportedly stood by its position not giving any response.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that despite the Director and his Deputy having resumed work they have however for the past five months not been paid their salaries by the ministry. The two have reportedly vowed to continue doing their daily duties tasked by the board other than dealing with the ministry since they are aware that it does not recognise them.
Should the matter not be resolved they have reportedly indicated that they will exhaust all the internal processes of appealing the matter before taking the legal route of launching the matter before the industrial court.
When reached for comment the centre’s board chairperson, Bishop Mothusi Letlhage didn’t comment rather demanded to know where this publication got the information before claiming to be clueless about the issue.
“Wena oe tsaa kae kgang ya teng…gake e itse nna,” the bishop said before hanging up the phone on this reporter while his deputy could not be reached as his phone rang unanswered.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health and Wellness Spokesperson, Christopher Nyanga has promised to respond to the matter on Monday since he was travelling from Maun to Gaborone at the time of going for print.