Motsamai’s P3.7m golden handshake

Former President of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) Andrew Motsamai is expected to walk away with over P3m as settlement with his employer, Botswana Guardian has gathered.

Motsamai is parting ways with his employer where he served as Executive Chairman of Babereki Investment- a commercial arm of the union with an annual turnover of P15 million. 

He is said to have fallen out with his employer after it emerged that the union’s investment arm was no longer making money especially the subsidiaries. The union is said to be in financial mess linked to Motsamai’s leadership at Babereki Investment. 

Babereki Investments was established to spearhead the growth of local and regional business interests of BOPEU. The micro finance business was established to assist members with access to loans in a controlled manner (matching loans with repayment ability), so as to avoid over indebtedness of members whilst generating sufficient cash flows in order to build a sustainable fund.

According to insiders, Motsamai will be paid P3.7 million as terminal benefits of his contract. Motsamai’s exit is said to have been hatched prior to the meeting of the National Executive Committee that was chaired by the union’s current President Masego Mogwera. 

The union leadership is said to have blundered as the decision was supposed to have been taken by the Board of Babereki Investment. The board is however scheduled to meet next week Tuesday to discuss among other things Motsamai’s exit. 

According to a source, the meeting might not materialise as some of the board members who are compromised in the matter are considering snubbing it. In the midst of Babereki crisis, one of the directors close to Motsamai is alleged to have also benefited.

It is said that he was bought a motor vehicle (a Ranger Rover) through the investment arm which is being paid P36 000.00 per month for five years. Executive Director Finance, Victor Leoketsa is said to be among the top beneficiaries as Babereki is paying the motor vehicle at Avis, an arrangement that he allegedly negotiated with Motsamai. Leoketsa has however dismissed the claims indicating that he is paying the motor vehicle for himself. 

“It is not true. I am paying for myself. The money is amounting to P28 000 for five years,” said Leoketsa.  Board members for Babereki Ka Lorato Services are football tycoon, Enerst Molome, Lazarus Molefhi, BOPEU Deputy President Martin Gabobake and Chief Executive Officer for Babereki Investment representing the union and Babereki.

In another development, the computer containing crucial information is said to have gone missing. The computer was stolen two weeks ago before the Motsamai saga broke. The Information Technology employee is said to have been suspended on Wednesday with allegations that he knows the whereabouts of the missing computer. 

This comes after the National Executive Committee on Monday assessed the security cameras and saw a man wearing balaclavas taking the computer and put it into his bag.

Ironically Motsamai has not been served with termination at the moment. He is currently on leave but indications are that he will be served when he returns next week after board meeting that is expected to convene on Tuesday. 

This week Motsamai confirmed that he is an employee at Babereki but he could not discuss anything further regarding his employer. 

“Motsamai is ready to go and it is up to the board and the NEC that he leaves the organisation as a happy man. He has long seen his removal because there was clash of ideas between him and the NEC about the decision he was taking at Babereki. For the past two months the man has been redundant because his decision was always blocked,” said the source.

“Yes it is true we are parting with Motsamai probably in two weeks’ time because we want to settle issues first and avoid any legal dispute from arising. 

“We have realised that as NEC we made a big blunder to want to fire Motsamai without the board involvement. This is why we decided that it should convene next week so that proper structures could be followed,” said one NEC member.

Babereki Investments turnover is over 15 million pula every year. 

The union website  states about its investments; Babereki Investments was established to spearhead the growth of local and regional business interests of BOPEU. The micro finance business was established to assist members by providing access to loans in a controlled manner (matching loans with repayment ability), so as to avoid over indebtedness of members whilst generating sufficient cash flows in order to build a sustainable fund. 

The company has grown rapidly and as at 30th September 2014 it had a loan book of P25, 299,788 and generated positive cash flows. It has successfully created a strong brand amongst its 27, 352 strong membership. 

In 2010 when his mandate was left with one year, former President Botswana Landboard and Local Authorities Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), Pelotshweu Baeng hired himself as the Executive Chairman of the union with a hefty salary but he left the union sometimes in 2014 under controversial circumstances. 

Motsamai has been Executive Chairman at Babereki Investments for five months. He left his position as the union President for the lucrative position this year and signed a five-year contract. He was earning a salary of close to P70 000 every month.This week, BOPEU President, Masego Mogwera did not answer her phone to confirm the deal agreement with Motsamai. She could not even respond to a text message sent to her.

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