The Botswana Mine Workers Union is said to have successfully lobbied Debswana Chairman, Eric Molale, to cancel the airing of Debswana Managing Director’s interview with Botswana Television.
Blackie Marole’s interview was supposed to have been aired in last week’s The Eye programme.
In what is viewed as the deterioration of relations inside the Debswana boardroom, the management of state owned Botswana television canceled the programme saying the instructions were from the Office of the President.
Molale is also the Permanent Secretary to the President, the number one civil servant.
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that the Union complained to the PSP that BTV was not balanced as the interview did not take the Union’s side of the story.
It was then that Molale intervened, clearly using his powers as Permanent Secretary to the President, to have the interview cancelled.
Sunday Standard is also informed that the interview notwithstanding, Debswana Board of Directors is divided over the decision by company management to temporarily close down production at the mines.
Some Board members tried to lobby both President Ian Khama and Minister Ponatshego Kedikilwe to have the decision reversed.
It was also hinted that the decision by Debswana Managing Director was disrespectful of the Board in general and of Molale in particular.
But both President Khama and Minister Kedikilwe endorsed the management’s decision saying it made a business decision.
The Union is said to want Debswana to start paying retrenchment packages as opposed to reducing production capacity at the mines.
This has caused strains among Board Members.
There has been a lot of finger pointing since Debswana closed all its operations for a month, and announced that it will scaled down its operations when production resumed next month, with at least two mines closed down for the entire year.