Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DCEC probes Botswana Railways boss’ qualifications

Embattled Botswana Railways CEO, Andrew Lunga, has promised to give The Sunday Standard copies of his academic certificates in two weeks, following investigations by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) that the BR boss may have padded his CV to get the job.

The Botswana Railways board of directors and the DCEC have for months been grappling with the issue after it emerged that his employment file does not have the academic certificates to back up his resume’.

The DCEC is probing Lunga’s educational qualifications after he allegedly failed to produce the necessary certificates when asked to do so by the board.

DCEC, which started its investigations on Botswana Railways corruption allegations, recently asked for Lunga’s certificates but Botswana Railways failed to provide the academic documents.

It is understood that around 2005, Lunga was asked to submit his certificates by former assistant general manger, Reginald Ketshabile, who retired from the organization at the end of July 2005.

It is understood that the board has also demanded that Lunga forward his certificates before he leaves office at the end of June.

Interviewed by The Sunday Standard, the board chairman, Kebamelo Kgoboko, confirmed that Lunga’s educational certificates cannot be found even in his office file.

“Yes, I was asked by DCEC about Lunga’s certificates but there were no records in his file.”

Kgoboko told Sunday Standard that they had asked Lunga to forward the documents as soon as possible but Lunga informed them that the documents were in South Africa.

Kgoboko said BR engaged HRMC to select the suitable candidate on their behalf when the vacancy was advertised.

“I really do not know what could have happened to his certificates but, as I have already said, he will provide them to us as agreed,” Kgoboko said.

Kgoboko added that although he was not the chairman at the time Lunga was employed by BR, it does not mean that he cannot take responsibility for whatever happened.

He said Lunga will leave office by the end of June this year.
Lunga was appointed as the CEO of BR on the 11th of April 2005.

Lunga’s attorneys, Sadique Kebonang Attorneys, on Friday wrote to Sunday Standard stating, “It has come to our client’s attention that your newspaper has, through the BR Board chairman, been inquiring as to our client’s qualification.

“Whilst it is within your prerogative to inquire from whomsoever, client is taken aback by your failure to interview him. Client is aware that the issue of his qualification is a smear campaign being waged from within the top management of Botswana Railways. For what its worth, client was employed following a rigorous selection process by HRMC. His qualifications were never an issue and will never be.

“Client disputes that he has no qualification for the job and will be happy to provide proof to that effect. In the meantime, out of his own volition, client will provide your newspaper with copies of his academic qualifications within a fortnight.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.