Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President in Office of the President, Elias Magosi is the highest paid public servant, Botswana Guardian can reveal.Magosi, a former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communications joined OP in April this year after he was recruited from Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat where he served as Director, Human Resources and Administration.
He was appointed a few days after President Mokgweetsi Masisi ascended to the presidency on April 1st 2018.According to a letter of appointment penned by Permanent Secretary to the President Cater Morupisi and seen by Botswana Guardian, Masisi used his powers in terms of Section 112 of the Constitution to appoint Magosi.
“You will earn a salary at the rate of P1, 392, 564.00 per annum (P116, 047 per month). This salary, which is above the government salary structure, is meant to protect your benefits from your previous employer, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC),” says the letter. With that hefty salary Magosi earns more than his boss Carter Morupisi and also earns more than President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Not only that; Magosi will also be “entitled to benefit from any government salary revisions. You will also earn housing allowance at 2 percent of basic salary and entertainment allowance in the sum of P14, 950.10 per annum and any other applicable allowances,” said Morupisi in the letter, which was copied to Director of Public Service Management, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Accountant General and Auditor General.
According to Morupisi the appointment is offered on contract terms for a period of 5 years with effect from date of assumption of duty. “You will be required to enter into a Performance Contract in accordance with Section 19 (4) of the Public Service Act within three (3) months or 90 days of commencement of employment.
“The government may terminate this contract in accordance with Section 26 (2) of the Public Service Act by giving you three calendar months’ notice or paying you three (3) months’ salary in lieu of such notice. On the other hand, you may also terminate this contract by giving and serving three (3) calendar months or paying government one (1) months’ salary in lieu of notice,” said PSP.
According to the letter, upon satisfactory completion of this contract, Magosi will be paid gratuity at the rate of thirty (30) percent of the total amount of the salary earned for the duration of the contract. He is expected to be governed by the Public Service Act, General Orders, and Rules and Regulations in force from time to time during the period of his employment.
PSP Morupisi confirmed the appointment and salary of Magosi in an interview with this publication. Morupisi has defended this decision indicating that this is the “general principle” because Magosi was being recruited from SADC Secretariat. “When you recruit you have certain benefits that you will have to consider. We had to go overboard because generally salaries at SADC Secretariat are high.
“We had to consider retaining of personal rights. So in the negotiations you lose some and gain some,” said Morupisi who revealed that Magosi was recruited for a purpose but would not get into details. He said the arrangement is not in any way in breach of the Public Service Act which governs public servants. “This is nothing new because I have done the same with other public officers that we have recruited back into the public service,” he added.
Before joining Communications Ministry as PS, Magosi served under the same portfolio at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism headed by Tshekedi Khama. At the ministry Magosi had a fallout with Khama over the running of the ministry and its parastatal Botswana Tourism Organisation. In December 2016, Magosi made it to the list of appointments and transfers of senior public officers which was announced by Morupisi.
Magosi accepted the offer and then resigned within a month. The SADC Directorate of Human Resources and Administration which Magosi was heading was established following the restructuring of SADC in February 2008, with emphasis placed on the need to improve service delivery within the SADC Secretariat.