BOCRA rehires Pheko as CEO

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Thari Pheko has re-emerged as the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after a month’s hiatus. Pheko’s contract had expired in December 2014 and he had failed to get it renewed. The minister is the one who appoints the CEOs at BOCRA and other parastatals.

However, Pheko’s triumphant return is without incident as he is coming back to his post after the organisation had placed some in-house advertisement looking for the incumbent’s replacement.

Thari Pheko had worked for BOCRA for eight years, and after his December exit, a process was then set in place to replace him. “The CEO post was advertised internally and after the screening, Tshoganetso Kepaletswe, the Deputy CEO responsible for regulatory affairs and Noble Katse, the Director for Business Development were shortlisted. Kepaletswe was Acting CEO for the whole of January and would naturally have been looking forward to taking the post on a substantive basis,” said media statement.

The same statement continues that “While the two CEO candidates had not yet been interviewed by the board, they had actually gone for psychometric tests which were administered by HRMC, a human resources consultancy based in Gaborone. However and to everyone’s surprise, the recruitment process was dramatically reversed at the beginning of this month when Pheko showed up to resume his old post. Our information is that he is on a two-year contract and the process to replace him has been abandoned.”

The BOCRA board chairperson, Dr. Masego Mpotokwane, declined to shed light on why Pheko’s contract was not renewed only for him to be brought back after just one month. Instead he refered all media enquiries to the minister.

Established in April 2013 through the Communications Regulatory Authority Act, BOCRA is an integrated regulatory authority overseeing Botswana’s telecom and ICT sectors, internet services, radio and commercial broadcasting, postal services, and related communications activities. BOCRA recently announced further progression yet with a consumer-centric five-year strategy which Thari Pheko dubbed ‘a new chapter on the BOCRA journey’.

The authority’s overarching ambition is to position Botswana as the best country in Africa for communications in both access and usage, based on factors established by the International Telecommunication Union. The six specific targets of the strategy are universal access, competition, affordability, consumer protection, and efficient management of communications resources.

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