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Avani Hotel race scandal

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*MASS RESIGNATIONS AS STAFF ACCUSE GM OF RACISM

*UNQUALIFIED WHITE PERSONNEL APPOINTED BOSSES OVER BATSWANA

“Racist, bigot and bully!”

These are some of the strong and unflattering words that scores of harassed and oppressed Avani Hotel employees have used to describe their South African boss, Allan Clingham.

55-year-old Clingham’s oppressive and shocking management style was exposed this week in a social media post that went viral and got the whole nation up in arms with many calling for a protest march to the hotel, whose Executive Management is predominantly made up of white South Africans.

Speaking in an interview, a fed-up but fearful employee who requested for his name not to be mentioned to avoid possible victimisation, said, “ What I can tell you is that in the one year that Allan has been the GM here, the hotel has become a living hell for staff. He is cruel, he is mean and he is rude and ruthless. His favourite line is; ‘I am untouchable.”

Apparently, Clingham developed a habit of randomly letting employees know how ‘untouchable’ he was after he failed an internal Team Management Engagement Survey (TMES), which fingered him as a racist.

“Even though my score is in the red, I am not going anywhere,” he would allegedly gloat in executive meetings, a source has revealed.

Another disgruntled manager spoke of how Clingham targeted all local senior managers who challenged his weird management style or called him out for being racist, with either unprocedural or constructive dismissal, which caused a mass exodus of 16 senior managers within a year.

So far, 14 of those have filed complaints with the Department of Labour while some have taken Avani to the Industrial Court in lawsuits of not less than P1 million each.

Clingham’s recruitment style has also been slammed – by a former senior manager – as flawed in that he seeks to replace highly qualified Batswana with either unqualified white South Africans or under-qualified Batswana, who he can totally mistreat and control because they would be indebted to him.

“A typical example is when he recruited Pulafela Moothai, an under-qualified Food and Beverages Manager who holds a Junior Certificate Examinations (JCE) qualification over Cecilia Rammuso, a highly-qualified Food and Beverages (F&B) Manager who holds a Masters Degree in Hospitality and has massive experience in the industry. He actually disregarded the interview score in which Rammuso had trounced Pulafela, and instructed his Deputy Manager to hire Moothai, who came last among the interview candidates. As if that was not enough, he then went ahead and promoted an Assistant Barman to be F&B Assistant Manager,” the flabargasted inside source revealed.

Asked for a comment, Avani spokesperson, Nikki Chigodora, referred us to Southern Africa region Marketing Manager, Janine Smith, whose phone rang unanswered while Clingham was not available for an interview.

A Motswana minority Avani shareholder, Robert Mpabanga did not respond to text messages sent to his phone.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Cheerful

    January 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    South Africa is part of the SADC bloc perhaps the system is not working allowing people to movement??? Just big talk on paper and no action?

  2. Charley

    February 1, 2020 at 8:48 am

    This is very absurd.

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Elephant mortality in Okavango rises to 110, Anthrax ruled out

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Wildlife and National Parks department has ruled out Anthrax as a killer disease for elephants along some villages in the Okavango delta.

As of Friday last week, at least 110 dead elephants were discovered in areas of Seronga, Gunotsoga and Eretsha in the past three weeks and were suspected to have died from Anthrax.

However the Anthrax laboratory tests have come back negative, leaving the government departments searching for more answers. 

“Laboratory results have ruled out Anthrax and we are awaiting more results,” explained regional Wildlife coordinator in Maun, Dimakatso Ntshebe.

Ntshebe said his department through the help of veterinary department services are still conducting further tests to find out whether or not this mysterious disease is not a result of poisoning.

The disease according to Ntshebe causes the giant’s front legs to weaken and therefore the unwell animal walks in uncoordinated manner and ultimately drops to its death.

“We don’t know what could be the cause of this disease but we are working around the clock to find out and hopefully work on the cure,” added Ntshebe.

Some samples are to be sent to South Africa for further testing. “We could have taken other samples to the neighbouring Zimbabwe, but because of COVID-19 that brought everything to almost a standstill, we could not send them,” Ntshebe explained before adding that, “before coronavirus outbreak, Botswana and Zimbabwe were in talks and have entered into some agreements including exportation and importation of certain medications, but we have not yet concluded the matter regarding samples, that is why we have not been able to send samples to Zimbabwe.”

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SADC Executive Secretary disturbed by obstacles in movement of goods

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The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stegomena Lawrence Tax, has cautioned member states that any lack of cooperation among then during the COVID19 era has potential to reverse the gains made in the last decades.

Addressing a virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting this week, Lawrence Tax said that the regional ministers approved Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential Goods and Services across borders early April. 

She said that whilst the guidelines have played a critical role in facilitation of movement of essential goods, there are notable obstacles that have been noted by the Secretariat.

The obstacles include non-compliance/non recognition of regional legal frameworks; uncoordinated operations at the port of entry among border agencies; lack of harmonization and synchronization of policies and procedures among, and between member states; unilateral decisions outside agreed framework; as well as different approaches to deal with epidemiological challenges,” she said. 

She added that; “all these are resulting in increased cost of doing business, and negatively affecting the implementation of national and regional programmes”.

She advised that there is need to have measures, and coordinated approach in place since the region is in a post lockdown period since the transportation of non-essential goods and services will be resuming.

Lawrence Tax added that COVID19 is a global pandemic and that the SADC regional approach should expand to COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite and eventually to other continental blocs.

“The Secretariat is already working with COMESA and EAC, specifically, in terms of harmonizing and synchronizing regulations and procedures for movement of goods and services under the Tripartite arrangement. We need to move in unison and avoid unilateral decisions, specifically with regards to cross border movement of goods and services,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the regional office has already conducted a socio-economic impact analysis of COVID19 on the region and the results have shown that the pandemic will impact negatively across many socio and economic sectors.

“The decline in the global economy is projected to lead to a decline in commodity prices, increase in debt and significant contraction of the SADC economies in 2020. This will reverse the gains on industrial development and trade that the region has made in the last couple of years,” Lawrence Tax said.

On the flip side,  the region’s International Cooperating Partners have made pledges to mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic on its economy. 

“To date, the Secretariat has secured Euro 7.3 million from the German Government; Euro3.6million from European Union, Euro 190,000.00 under the GIZ/Africa Union Commission, whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB)  has considered a support UA 7 million. Engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are also at an advanced stage,” the Executive Secretary said.

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