SADC abruptly stops directors’ job interviews

26th November 2015


By Dikarabo Ramadubu -

SADC secretariat executive management led by Dr Stergomena Lawrance- Tax continues to contradict itself in its management practices. In the latest turn of events at the headquarters of the regional economic bloc the secretariat allegedly flouted SADC rules and regulations on the quota system requirement when shortlisting for 12 vacant regional positions which were due for replacement.

SADC sources say the latest may be a sign that the member states quota points system is open to abuse if not properly monitored. The matter has sparked questions as to how many regional staff could have benefitted despite their respective countries having exhausted their quota.
Dr. Tax was last Friday forced to issue a directive to all stakeholders ordering that the ongoing recruitment should strictly adhere to SADC rules and procedures, including adherence to a quota points systems.

Dr. Tax’s directive was directed at her deputy executive secretary Emile Moshobekwa, HR director Russell Mufaya and Head of Human Resource Hendricks Tonde. A document dated 13 November 2015 headlined “Ongoing recruitment” that the Midweek Sun has seen reads in part, “As resolved in management, the ongoing recruitments, that have shortlisted candidates from countries without quotas points should not proceed so as to avoid wastage of public funds, institutional time necessary complains. Reports of such interviews will not enable the organization to recruit any candidate from countries that have exhausted quota points.

A fresh shortlisting should be undertaken to include countries with quota points.” Ironically, Tax’s management only realised this week that regulations have been flouted despite allegedly having earlier given the process followed to shortlist names of the candidates, the thumps up.

Management approved reviews
The Midweek Sun has learnt that SADC management including Dr. Tax allegedly reviewed and approved Human Resources directorate to proceed and resource for the positions. The Midweek Sun is possession of authentic documents signed by Tax approving names of the shortlisted candidates. So far, interviews of the seven of the 12 vacant positions have been conducted with those showing potential being shortlisted. A memo from Human Resources titled ‘Short-listing report: selection of candidates’ held at SADC headquarters from 2 September 2015 - 16 September 2015 reads in part: “The human resources unit is pleased to submit to the Executive Secretary a report containing results of a short listing exercise for 7 regional positions in the SADC secretariat structure.

The short listing was conducted in accordance with Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy which is based on identifying candidates who best match the requirements of the respective positions they have applied for.” The memo further sates that out of the 11 regional positions, which were advertised in May 2015, only seven positions were shortlisted. The remaining four positions still pending due to unavailability of panelists were senior finance officer - financial accounting and treasury, senior officer records and archives management, librarian and human resources officer- payroll. The memorandum concluded that the selection committees were constituted in line with the recruitment selection and appointment policy.

How the quota systems works
Each of the 15 member states have been allocated 120 points apiece and required quota points are deducted from the member states once their respective nationals are offered a position at the secretariat. If the system is followed to the letter, then there is a stage where nationals of some of the members’ states are barred from applying whenever there is a vacancy that needs more than the quota points they are left with.
 The points are rated according to the position of the officer, for example the Executive secretary’s position is allocated 30, deputy executive secretary is allocated 23 points, with Directors (19), senior officer 16 and officer 12 points.

Authentic and updated documents indicate that as of 1 November 2015 members states had utilised their points as follow, Angola 35 left with a balance of 85 points, Botswana 115 points left with 5, DR Congo 68, (52), Lesotho 120 points (0), Madagascar 28 (92), Malawi 116 (4), Mauritius 113 (7), Mozambique 61 (59), Namibia 97 (23), South Africa 23 (97) Seychelles 12 (108) Swaziland 106 (14), Tanzania 84 (36), Zambia 119 (1) and Zimbabwe 112 (8).

Position offered and contracts
 It is alleged that some countries have benefitted over others as their nationals have been employed despite the fact that they either exhausted their points quota or they have less than the points required for such officer to be employed.

Tickets cancelled
The Midweek Sun is in possession of authentic documents that show that at the time when Dr Tax management cancelled the interviews for the remaining four positions at least 10 candidates had already been shortlisted and booked flight tickets to attend the interviews. The Midweek Sun is in possession of authentic documents showing the names of the 10 candidates and their confirmed flights from destinations such as Kasane in Botswana; two from Lusaka (Zambia), two from Dar es Salam (Tanzania), Johannesburg (South Africa), Maputo (Mozambique), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Windhoek (Namibia) and Manzini (Swaziland). The flight tickets for candidates coming for interviews were booked at total cost of P139, 973, 00. It is suspected that the move to cancel the interviews may open a can of worms for SADC as the candidates may sue SADC for the inconvenience suffered.

The internal audit
The Midweek Sun has reliably learnt that this week, the SADC audit is currently going on at SADC. It is alleged that amongst other items on the agenda is lawsuit that SADC is facing following breach of contract.

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