SWADE's 4 CEOs ... in 5 months
MBABANE – The Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE), a Category A parastatal, has had four acting Chief Executive Officers in a space of five months.
At one point, as the chopping and changing of CEOs happened, the public enterprise found itself with two bosses at the same time.
In January 2012, the organisation was led by Gugulethu Hlophe who had assumed the acting CEO status in May 2011 following the suspension of Doctor Lukhele.
However, in the same month of January, Hlophe was removed from the position and replaced by Bafana Dlamini, also on an acting capacity. Hlophe resumed her substantive position of Strategic and Corporate Communications Manager.
It was reported that Bafana had been given a three-month contract to be the acting boss, which meant he had to vacate his position at the end of April.
Indeed, at the beginning of May 2012, Trevor Shongwe was appointed acting CEO by Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini.
Shongwe is the Chief Water Engineer in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy.
His appointment created confusion, though, because Bafana claimed to be still the acting boss even though his contract had elapsed at the end of April.
He told our sister publication, the Times Sunday, that the Board had renewed his contract ‘for an indefinite period’.
This then meant that SWADE had two acting CEOs because the minister also insisted that he had appointed Shongwe into the position.
The minister seemed to have lost out because Bafana continued to occupy the position while Shon-gwe’s appointment remained in limbo. Bafana’s temporary reign came to a stop at the end of last month after the minister announced the appointment of Bongani Masuku as the new man at the helm, albeit on an acting basis.
The appointment of Masuku has seen Bafana returning to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Masuku, who is the incumbent undersecretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, was appointed soon after the Supreme Court ruled that suspended CEO Doctor Lukhele did not have an existing contract with the parastatal.
Confronted on the whimsical changing of CEOs, the minister said he did not see anything wrong with it. "When you act, it is only for a certain period. They were just acting. I see no problem with that. This was because the issue of CEO was still in court thus we had to appoint people to act. We couldn’t employ someone because Doctor (ex-CEO) was still in the position as per the court (ruling)," he said.
The minister said they were also wary of an existing government law which stipulates that a person should not be appointed to act in a position for over six months without confirmation. However, Gugulethu Hlophe was acting CEO for almost nine months.
‘... recruitment exercise was not completed’
MBABANE – Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, claims that the previous CEO recruitment exercise was not completed and that a new process would be carried out soon.
"The Board is looking at that process and I am waiting for them to bring us the three candidates they are going to recommend. I won’t interfere with the process. Once they make their decision, I will take the process forward to SCOPE and only then can I comment," he said.
He added: "The Board has to advertise first, beginning with looking for a consultant to carry out the CEO recruitment process and then advertise the post. This process can take up to two months. Nothing was finalised in the previous recruitment process. The Board is going to conduct a new recruitment exercise," he said.
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