Another race to save-face the embattled national beef exporter – BMC has started. This time around those placed in the forefront as board members includes the chairperson – Boyce Mhutsiwa and members – Dr James Sento, Joseph Akonyatse, Thabang Botshoma, Pontsho Bonolo Montle, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso, Onkametse Kgotlafela, Tshepo Masire, Godfrey Mosimaneotsile, Gorata Gabaraane, Moraki Mokgosana and Rudy Lemcke.
The past board chairperson – Victor Senye resigned in February 2020, a move thought by some as a well calculated one to save face by the well-respected corporate leader. Under Senye’s watch and that of his predecessors BMC has been under spotlight for failure to deliver good financial performance to its sole shareholder – the Botswana government.
While the state owned beef exporter has enjoyed monopoly of the local beef industry for years experts have argued that it has been more detrimental than beneficial to the farmer. In as recent as early 2020 some farmers were up in arms over the commission’s failure to pay their dues on time.
The company has also in the recent past experienced high litigation exposures which disrupted its operations and in the same eroded its working capital.
Following the departure of Senye and other old board members, BMC is expected to get its kraal in order as Minister responsible for Agriculture Karabo Gare has just put-in-place their replacement.
The appointment of the new board comes at a time when the commission is also operating without a substantive Chief Executive following the end of contract of the then acting CEO – Dr Boitumelo Mogome-Maseko. Dr Mogome-Maseko’s contract expired in April 2021 leaving the position of CEO vacant.
Both the new board and the executive management that would be put in place are expected to face a tough task of leading a BMC that would be operating under a liberised market following the approval of the BMC Transition Bill by Parliament in August 2019 and subsequent repeal of the BMC Act. The repeal of the BMC Act eliminates BMC’s monopoly on the export of beef and cattle. It also entails the establishment of a meat regulator who will oversee both the BMC and other players.