The Managing Director of Debswana, Balisi Bonyongo, has showered accolades on the outgoing Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mine, General Manager Dr Adrian Gale, for being a visionary leader who is leaving behind a legacy.
Speaking during his farewell party last week, Bonyongo said that the outgoing manager will forever live in the memories of the people of Botswana especially in Boteti Sub District due to his humility, hard work and selflessness.
“This is a man who joined OLDM four years ago. This man has vision as evidenced by what OLDM it is today. He did not come here only to mine diamonds but to create a legacy. He is a visionary leader who does not only have the diamond mining interests at heart, but even the interest of the communities at heart. This can be attested by many people especially in Boteti Sub District. He is the one who came with the slogan, Orapa Today, Boteti tomorrow,” he said.
He said that when Dr Gale joined the mine in 2010, the country was still reeling from the effects of the global recession. He however said that although the mine faced challenges due to the recession, Dr Gale managed to sustain the mine and survive the odds.
He also commended Dr Gale for creating a strong management team at OLDM which managed to transform the fortunes of OLDM around.
“Dr Gale indeed leaves behind a legacy. When he joined OLDM, Botswana Miners Workers Union had a strained relationship with the mine management, but as we speak he managed to collaborate the two,” added Bonyongo.
He further said that Dr Gale contributed a lot in the up-liftment of the people of Boteti Sub District through the Corporate Social Investment(CSI) projects. He further said that the outgoing General Manager had developed a strong partnership and relationship with the people of Boteti Sub District.
“Unlike the colonists who only came into this country to milk its resources in the 60’s, Dr Gale is a miner who has the interest of the communities at heart. He loves Batswana and Botswana dearly,” he said.
Bonyongo also said that under Dr Gale’s management, Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mine has managed to maintain a clean safety record placing it as one of the best mines in the world in terms of safety further placing Debswana on the world map.
“This is a man who has vision and a hard worker. He would even approach His Excellency, President Ian Khama if there is any issue he wishes to raise. He has his Excellency’s ear. I also wish to commend him for developing the Game Park in Orapa. This man has immense love for nature,” said Bonyongo.
He said under Dr Gale’s management, Orapa has managed to perform very well in fields such as sports and even education.
“Sports teams such as Orapa United and the schools are performing very well. Dr Gale needs to be commended for a job well done. His shoes will never be filled by anyone,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, the Senior Manager at Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mine, Bakani Motlhabani also described Dr Gale as a hard worker who has the plight of employees at heart. He said that the outgoing General Manager is an honest man who was open minded and had an open door policy.
“I worked under six General Managers, but Dr Gale is the best. He developed a perfect management team and he always gave everyone hope and optimism. He is result oriented and he believes in hard work and productivity,” said Motlhabani.
Speaker after speaker commended Dr Gale and described him as a humble individual who cared much about the welfare of the community and the environment in which the mine operates in.
For his part, Dr Gale said that when he joined the mine in 2010 he encountered a number of challenges which he managed to conqueror.
“One of the challenges is that there was a sour relationship between the mine and the union. There were numerous unresolved issues. There were queues of people outside of the offices every morning. However I appointed a task force to investigate victimisation of employees. Most of the issues were resolved and the relationship between the unions and the mine management grew to a mutual trust,” he said.
He also said that he came up with the slogan “Orapa Today and Boteti tomorrow” because he has a vision of seeing Boteti Sub District flourish even after mining elapses.
In conclusion he thanked his team of fellow employees at Orapa for their good working relationship.
Dr Gale will be returning home to the back to the United Kingdom.