There is a strong feeling among Debswana executives that the mining giant destroyed its value by “chasing the 30 million carats” target without paying attention to the requisite efficiencies.
This is contained in a “confidential” report on “The review of roles and structure of Debswana Head Office” that was tabled earlier this year. The report follows “the 2005 Strategy Review” which identified a number of weaknesses at Debswana.
The report portrays Debswana as a confused organization that has lost focus, promotes a culture of personality cults, is losing a lot of value and missing a lot of opportunities.
Half of 36 Debswana executives, who were interviewed during the strategy review exercise, among them Managing Director Blackie Marole, and his deputy, Len Makwinja, felt that the rush to beat the 3 million carat target had eroded the Debswana value.
It is understood that, in the rush to beat the target, the mining giant forgot all about its mining plan and embarked on careless mining that stripped the mines of high carat stones leaving behind stones of lesser value.
It also emerged that more than 90 percent of the company executives felt that lack of focused philosophy at the Debswana head office resulted in a lot of missed opportunities, like strategic partnerships with third parties, the development of a robust technical support structure for operation.
The review also identified a culture of cult personalities at the Debswana head office and turned up “multiple evidence that structures have been built around people rather than visa versa.”