Tuesday, July 5, 2022

BMC Manager resigns amid investigations

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) General Manager for procurement, Clive Marshal, has tendered in his resignation letter, amid investigations by the Parliamentary Select Committee and Task Force, Sunday Standard has learnt.

Reports indicate that Marshal was on the verge of being shown the door towards the end of last year by the BMC board but sources say he decided to resign to save face sometime early this year.

In a brief interview, BMC spokesperson Tiro Kganela confirmed Marshal’s resignations but declined to discuss details.

“Yes I can confirm that Marshal is no longer an employee of the Botswana Meat Commission,” said Kganela.

Marshal’s name keeps on cropping up during the ongoing Parliamentary Select Committee hearings and the Task Force report.

Testifying before Parliamentary Special Select Committee investigating causes of the decline of the beef industry in Botswana this week, the MP for Kanye North, Kentse Rammidi, said Clive Marshal minister, his Permanent Secretary, Dr Micus Chimbombi, Director of the Agricultural Hub, Neil Fitt, should be held responsible for the mess that resulted in the decline of the beef industry in Botswana.

“There are a lot of complaints from farmers about the General Manager at BMC Clive Marshall. I want this committee to find out how he was employed at BMC what is his role as far as procumbent and feedlots are concerned,” said Rammidi.

In their report, investigators of the Task Force Team also share Rammidi’s sentiments stating that it came to their attention during a visit to a feedlot that there was no system to ensure that where a feeder kept his own cattle at the feedlot in addition the BMC cattle, the BMC funded feed was not used to feeder’s cattle. At this particular feedlot, all feed was stored in one place with no separation between the BMC funded feed and feed for own cattle which should be funded by the feeder.

“When this was raised with the Livestock Procurement Manager, he indicated that it did not matter if a feeder used BMC funded feed to feed his own cattle. The teams’ assessment was that since the feeder had no obligation to sell his own cattle to BMC, the feeder benefitted from using the BMC funded feed to feed cattle that did not belong to BMC,” stated the report.

The Task Force team found it incredible that the BMC found it in order to allow feedlotters to use its own capital for their benefits without any resources, especially that this was money borrowed from the Government of Botswana.

“Additionally the Cattle Feeding Contract which states that the advance feed loan made available to the feeder by the BMC ‘shall be exclusively used to feed the BMC cattle. Where a feeder used the BMC funded feed to feed his own cattle, it was a breach of Cattle Feeding Contract. One of the contractors visited was also a livestock feed seller. This brought a further dimension to the problem in that the feeder could use the feed advance received from BMC stock feed for sale for own profit,” states the report.

Marshal could not be reached at the time of going to press.

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