Debswana Diamond Company recently appointed Mmetla Masire as a temporary General Manager (GM) for Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa (OLD) mines. OLD mines have not had a permanent manager since January 2009 when then General Manager Sebetela Sebetela resigned his post to join Tati Nickel Mine. Masire takes over from the previous GM, Matome Malema who was also hired as temporary GM for well over a year. Malema left the company on April 1st of this year and is reportedly pursuing other interests.
Debswana’s Group Manager for Public and Corporate Affairs, Ester Kanaimba-Senai, previously told Sunday Standard that by the end of April, Malema would have served his term and that he had already terminated his contract.
“The Company has agreed with Matome Malema that he be released from the employ of Debswana with effect from 1st April 2010 to pursue other preferred interests. Malema was appointed General Manager on a temporary basis in December 2008,” said Kanaimba. Kanaimba on Friday confirmed
Masire’s appointment as temporary GM. Masire has a background as an experienced mining engineer.
“Mmetla Masire is the temporary GM until a substantive GM has been recruited.He is an experienced mining engineer who has worked in Orapa, Jwaneng, South-Africa and Namibia, “said Kanaimba.
Managing Director of Debswana, Blackie Marole wrote a memo to the Debswana community in which he formally announced Masire’s appointment as temporary GM. “Mmetla is a seasoned engineer with a wealth of technical, management and leadership experience acquired in Botswana,Namibia and South-
Africa.He began his career as an Engineer-in training at Orapa and Letlhakane mines in 1987 after completing a Bachelor of Engineering(Honors) degree in Electrical and Electronics from
University of Wales- UWIST(Cardiff,United Kingdom).He rose through the ranks and in 1990,was appointed Section Engineer at Lertlhakane Treatment Plant,”wrote Marole.
According to Marole, Masire was then seconded to Namdeb in Namibia from 1992 to 1994 where he served in several section Engineering positions. He returned to Orapa where he was appointed Section Engineer of Earthmoving, Divisional Engineer services,Divisional Engineer Treatment and by
1998 was appointed Engineering manager. In 2000,Masire moved to De Beers Marine in Cape Town to serve as Technical Manager but he later re-joined Debswana in 2003 as Engineering Manager at Jwaneng Mine.
Before acquiring the position of temporary GM of OLD mines, Masire previously served Debswana as Group Engineering manager for Debswana since the year 2006, by 2008 he was assigned the responsibility for Debswana Power Shortage Mitigation Initiatives. In 2009, Masire was also an acting chairperson for the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation. Masire takes over the managerial position of OLD mines at time where the issue of the Operations Review Project (OPJ) is still a heated topic of discussion between the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) and Debswana management. The month of May will see the first phase of the 1278 job losses that are expected to come about as a result of Debswana implementing the Operations review Project.
When the year 2010 began, Secretary General of BMWU, Jack Tlhagale had promised that the union would fight tooth and nail to ensure that implementation of the operations review would be blocked.Tlhagale had also revealed that the Union believed that the OPJ was of worse consequences than the global recession.