Friday, January 15, 2021

“Resign or get sacked” BDC Board tells management

Following a long season during which a heavy cloud of corporate governance improprieties have been hanging over the management of the Botswana Development Corporation, the Board of Directors, led by Blackie Marole, is said to have given the BDC leadership an ultimatum to either opt for a settlement and leave or face disciplinary actions with the possibility of summary dismissals.
Management has up to a month to make their choice.

It is, however, not yet clear if the Board has the blessing of Ken Matambo, the Minister of Finance and Development who, the last time around, got rid of some board members just as they were on the eve of instituting disciplinary actions against four of BDC’s most senior executives, including the Managing Director, Maria Nthebolan.

The Board is said to be eager to give the government investment arm a fresh start.
BDC was recently in the news for all the wrong reasons, including cases at the High Court over the award of the Botswana Innovation Hub tender, the construction of which the corporation is managing on behalf of government.

But more damaging have been allegations surrounding the multi-million Pula glass plant at Palapye.
While the Board is said to have reservations about the findings of an audit report commissioned by the last Board, there is, however, one glaring anomaly which has attracted the ire of the current Board.

This was a failure by BDC management to get a performance Board before construction of the plant at Palapye started.

Nthebolan is, however, said to be keen on clearing her name, especially since there is currently a parliamentary committee that is also investigating BDC.

Among the executives said to be facing the axe is BDC General Manager (Corporate Services) James Kamynuka, who is also responsible for finance.

He fell under the radar when the Board found out that BDC was not covered when it engaged in the construction of the glass plant, which has now cost close to P1 billion.

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