Thursday, July 9, 2020

Jumped or Pushed? Masire prematurely leaves WUC

BY KABELO SEITSHIRO

The Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Board of Directors has not renewed the employment contract of the corporation’s chief executive officer (CEO) Mmetla Masire who left the corporation on Friday.

The water utility denies that he was pushed.

Masire’s departure from the corporation comes at a time when he was spearheading the ongoing restructuring which he kick-started while his contract was to end in the next three months.

At executive level the Head of Internal Audit left, and also a senior IT Manager and some of the employees have left as well as Director Human Resources has been advertised together with Director Projects.

The corporation faces the financial challenge of recovering the money owed to the corporation which amounts to around half a billion Pula by both government and households from unpaid water bills.

Quizzed on whether the WUC CEO was fired or not as he left the office official this past Friday, WUC acting Board Chairman Noble Katse denied firing Masire and stated that the CEO’s tenure in office has ended.

Acting Board Chairman Noble Katse Katse is of the view that Masire has made a lot of contribution in driving the WUC ‘s transformation journey, adding that it is, however, their considered view that another person be considered to continue the journey and take the Corporation to another level. He said he Board is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Corporation.

“Masire has been instrumental in stakeholder’s management. He has assisted the Corporation in repositioning its financial performance. Masire also championed the restructuring project dubbed Itemogo and leaves it at implementation stage,” katse stated.

Asked on the challenges the corporation is going through and how arethey being addressed, he said WUC is inundated with water shortage in some parts of the country due to the nature of Botswana as a drought prone country.

He stated that boreholes are drying up as a result, high salinity of water in some areas, high water losses due to old and dilapidated infrastructure. He added that all these are taking place against an ever-rising growth in demand for water.

“The corporation is mitigating water shortage through bowsing on short term basis, while in the long term there are major projects funded by the Corporation, World Bank and NDP 11,” said Katse.

He further confirmed that the Sustainability and Water Resources Director Gaselemogwe Senai is the interim CEO until the recruitment and appointment of a substantive CEO. He also spoke of the WUC embarking on a transformation exercise dubbed iTemogo, and that is expected to reposition them as an efficient provider of potable water. He said waste water management capabilities will also be improved.

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