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The Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Railways Dominic Ntwaagae says he will not step down from his position following allegations of corruption surrounding the purchase of the rail passenger coach that will be called BR Express.
On the other hand Botswana Railways Amalgamated Workers Union (BRAWU) is pushing for the BR management to be suspended from duty pending investigations.
Responding to this publication query, BR spokesperson Kebabonye Morwaagae said if it turns out that the corruption allegations are true the CEO will “let the law take its course”.
He confirmed the raid conducted by the corruption busting agency, DCEC (Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime) that were carried out last week Monday at the head office in Mahalapye but declined to give detailed information.
He stated that such raids will not affect the passenger train launch scheduled for 22nd of this month. Morwaagae stated that in a few days to come they will be in a better position to announce who will officiate at the launch.
He said the passenger train will be up in running on the following day after the launch.
The chairperson of BRAWU Gaebepe Molaodi said “the union is not surprised by the DCEC raids that were carried out at the head office last week as this is not the first time for BR to experience corruption allegations”.
She said it will be a wise and honorable thing to do if the entire management can just simply step aside to allow DCEC investigations to be carried out smoothly.
She said on the other hand the timing of DCEC to raid BR was wrong, instead they could have waited for a while for the passenger train to be launched and continue with their investigations.
“Now that enthusiasm by Batswana has gone down as they have long been waiting for the train for such a long time and if such huge corruption allegations emerges it brings doubts. But this does not mean we condemn what DCEC is doing.”
She recalls sometime back the union requested the president to launch investigations that led to the collapse of the then Blue train.
A report was compiled but up to date the report has not been released.
It was very important that the report could have been released before the arrival of the new passenger train so that BR should know how it went wrong and never repeat the mistake again, she said.
She further indicated that it is highly possible that BR might also commit a similar mistake.
She revealed that the Blue train sold to Mozambique is up and running.