A war of words has erupted between the Botswana Railways (BR) and the Ministry of Transport over who should head BR after the former CEO, Andrew Lunga, had his contract terminated by the ministry almost seven months ago.
Information reaching Sunday Standard suggests that the Ministry of Transport is planning to appoint a military officer to fill up the position of a Chief Executive Officer which has been vacant for almost seven months. The BR board on the other hand is opposing such an appointment, saying it is un-procedural.
It is understood that Tsa Babadi Consultancy long completed the selection of a suitable candidate to fill the CEO vacancy at the BR.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport, Jonnie Swartz, says that he is not aware whether Botswana Railways is planning to appoint a military person to become its new CEO.
Speaking to Sunday Standard, the minister admitted, “Yes, we took a very long time to fill up the position of a CEO.”
He said that he was optimistic that the CEO would be appointed sometime next year after all the necessary scouting had been done.
Meanwhile, in response to our enquiry, BR board chairman, Kobamelo Kgoboko, told Sunday Standard in a brief statement that “the investigation against the Director of Finance has being completed”.
He said that he could, however, not disclose the outcome of the investigation because the board has yet to meet to discuss the outcome of the investigations.
He declined to comment on the appointment of the new CEO.
However, the chairperson of the Botswana Railways Union, Mr. Letlaopoma Mokgalajwe, conceded that it had taken too long for BR to appoint a new CEO “and this delay is cause for concern”, adding that such delays affect the daily running of the organization since the acting CEO can not take firm decisions.
Mokgalajwe appealed to both the minister and the BR board to speed up the appointment of a CEO.
Meanwhile, as of December 2, the BR board reinstated the BR Finance Manager who was reportedly under suspension for conflict of interest.