The Ministry of Agriculture and the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) cannot say when they will hire a substantive general manager for the latter following the departure of Masego Mphathi almost two years ago.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Micus Chimbombi, says that efforts are being made to hire the Chief Executive of the board whose main mandate is to provide a market for locally grown scheduled crops such as cereals, pulses/beans and oilseeds.
BAMB is also required to ensure that adequate supplies of these products exist for sale to customers at affordable prices.
In response to a question from Sunday Standard, BAMB’s marketing and communication manager, Lorato Kwelagobe, could not state when the board will appoint a new manager.
“The process of identifying a suitable candidate who is fit for the job with the necessary experience, skills and competencies is not always an easy process,” Kwelagobe noted.
Kwelagobe says in the meantime the Board has appointed Elvis Ncaagae as the Acting Chief Executive Officer. Ncaagae’s substantive position is Finance Manager. He has been with the BAMB for the past 11 years.
The former BAMB CEO, Masego Mphathi’s contract came to an end in December 2012.
Sunday Standard understands that Mphathi was forced to resign because he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.
The board could not also say why it is taking a long time to identify the right candidate but went on to confirm that a local consulting firm has been tasked to recruit, assess and recommend to the Board a potential successor for Mphathi.
“A consulting firm had been tasked to recruit, assess and recommend to the Board of Directors, a good fit for the organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives; and who has the necessary skills for the organization. The Board of Directors and Ministry of Agriculture continue to discuss the recommendations. Therefore the recruitment process is at an advanced stage. We would only have the new CEO after the process has been concluded,” Kwelagobe said this week.
Kwelagobe says that the agency is doing everything possible to conclude the recruitment process within reasonable time.
“The process of identifying a suitable candidate who is fit for the job with the necessary experience, skills and competencies is not always an easy process.
Kwelagobe says that Ncaagae has a deeper knowledge of the business of the Board and worked very closely with the former CEO, “For that reason, operations have not been disrupted”.
Apart from Mphathi, BAMB also lost the services of its operations manager, Loeto Makubate, whose role is key in terms of BAMB’s contract dealings with farmers.
This publication understand that Makubate’s resignation coincided with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS)’s camping at BAMB for months of investigations of some of the BAMB managers for corruption. The board did not however link his resignation to the DCEC and DIS probe.