Debswana, which is in a face-off with its workforce over the Operations Review Process (ORP), has been drawn into another matter when one of its top employees resigned.
The company’s General Manager for Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines or OLD, Matome Malema, has left the employ of the company.
Debswana’s Group Manager for Public and Corporate Affairs, Ester Kanaimba, told Sunday Standard that from next month, Malema will have served his purpose under Debswana and has already ended his contract with the country’s leading mining house.
“The Company has agreed with Matome Malema that he be released from the employ of Debswana with effect from 1st April 2010 to pursue other preferred interests. Malema was appointed General Manager on a temporary basis in December 2008,” said Kanaimba.
The resignation comes at a time when the company’s management and the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) are at loggerheads over the issue of the implementation of the ORP, which is to result in more than 1,278 employees losing their jobs starting from May.
The Manual Workers Union has also decided to involve itself in the fight against the implementation of ORP as it is worried about the job losses that are to result from the project.
BMWU recently petitioned the company’s Managing Director, Blackie Marole, protesting against the implementation of the ORP project as they said it will cause more harm than good.
It seems as if it has become a common trait for Orapa’s GMs to leave the company when retrenchment talks attract attention to their departments. The Last General Manager for OLD mines, Seb Sebetlela, left the mines for Tati Nickel at the time when there was talk of retrenchment that was allegedly caused by the effects of the global crisis on production.
Kanaimba said that to replace Malema, Debswana will use its usual recruitment method to find a suitable candidate for the job.
“The usual recruitment process will be followed and there is no telling how long this will take. It depends on how soon the appropriate candidate can be identified,” said Kanaimba.
However, sources believe Malema resigned because he was tired of being temporary for a year.
If no one is appointed from head office, talk is that one of former Debswana employees might be persuaded to rejoin the company from another mining house.
Malema was not readily available for comment.