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Guma threatens to jail Professor Fako

Publishing Date : 19 September, 2016

Author : ALFRED MASOKOLA


Chairman of Parliament Committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises, Samson Guma has sent an ultimatum to the University of Botswana’s (UB) Vice Chancellor, Professor Thabo Fako to appear before the committee or face a jail term.

A fuming Guma said this today after Fako failed to appear for the second consecutive year before the parliament committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises.

Fako had sent his subordinates to represent him before the committee. They were accompanied by a letter directed to Guma, apparently to convey an apology. This time around, the Member of

Parliament for Tati East was having none of it.

“No... no... no, You are not Professor Fako right? We want the accounting officer, not you,” said Guma rejecting the letter before even reading its contents.

“Professor Fako is out of order. He thinks we are joking when we spend our time here?  We are serious!..Tell him to appear before this committee or else I will subpoena him and get him jailed.”

Guma further expressed that Professor Fako is undermining the committee, given his failure to appear before the committee again last year.

“What am I going to do with the letter? Why didn’t he tell me on time? He should have called me,” Guma said before he sent Fako’s two representatives packing.

Other committee members, Dr Phenyo Butale, Ndaba Gaolathe and Major General Pius Mokgware were also of the view that UB is currently faced by the major problems, hence the necessity of Professor Fako’s presence.  

UB has entered a new era, with Fako himself having been displeased with the status quo, including lack of funding from government. Fako had bitterly complained that government is abandoning the UB in favour of new institutions.

Recently, government, through Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF), this year, decreased significantly the number of students to be sponsored at the country’s highest learning institution.  

This came on the heels of a recommendation by the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) that a number of programmes at that university do not fall within the priority programmes category for the 2016/17 financial year.  

The development means UB might be forced to phase out majority of its programmes which are belived to be saturated and introduce new ones  if government is to continue sponsoring students who wish to study there.

Fako, may appear before the committe before Friday this week, if Guma supoena him.

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