Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Debswana probe opens can of worms

Debswana has opened a can of worms by suspending three senior officials for allegedly falsifying a ‘sensitive report’ to protect a former managing director.

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that the diamond mining company’s head of security, a senior security manager and a senior employees’ relations manager had been suspended after altering a whistleblower’s report filed with Debswana.The report allegedly implicated one of Debswana’s former Managing Directors.The three senior officials had their gadgets which include laptops and phones seized as part of Debswana’s efforts to piece together information that could lead to the original report and why it was falsified.It is understood that a task force team swooped on the former managing directors’ farms to conduct a search.

While Sunday Standard was unable to establish what the contents of the report that was doctored by the three officials were, among other allegations that have been brought to Debswana ’s attention are that a number of junior female employees have been unduly promoted in return for sexual favours by the former managing director.The three senior officials allegedly sanitized the report by removing incriminating information that implicates the former managing director.Responding to Sunday Standard queries, Debswana Diamond Company’s Head of Corporate Affairs Rachel Mothibatsela confirmed that “The company has suspended three senior managers, on full pay, pending investigations into allegations received through our whistleblowing and ethical reporting processes.” 

According to Mothibatsela, in order for the ensuing investigations to happen uninterrupted and to protect the employees concerned from any potential future allegations of interference in the investigations, a decision was taken to suspend them.

“The business has taken all risks into account in making this decision. Our whistleblowing and ethical reporting framework is, among other things, there to support overall governance and to this extent, processes undertaken herein, are in the normal course of business,” she said.

She explained that no fault has been found against them at this stage and they are to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.She would not be drawn into details

.“There are no further details that can be shared because this is an employer and employee matter; and investigations are still ongoing,” said Mothibatsela.

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