Monday, August 10, 2020

Rail union celebrates CEO’s fall

The Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Botswana Railways Board have thrown out an application requesting renewal of contract of employment of the chief executive officer of Botswana Railways (BR) Leonard Makwinja off the tracks.

His employment contract ended last month.

The Botswana Railways Amalgamated Workers Union (BRAWU) described the decision not to renew Makwinja’s contract as a move in the right track arguing that he failed to address a number of contentious issues.

Information passed to this publication suggests that both the ministry and BR board have rejected the renewal contract application that was tendered by Makwinja.

It is understood that his contract ended last month and he was given six months to round up and clear his desk to pave way for the new CEO.

Sometime next week the CEO position will be advertised and a recruiting agency has already been identified.

Makwinja might be assigned to lead some of the upcoming huge Multi -million-pula projects that are on the pipe line.   

The minister of transport and transport and communications Thulagano Segokgo confirmed to Sunday Standard that the three-year work contract of Makwinja   expired last month.

“It is true that his work contract expired last month,” said Segokgo.

He said the matter is being handled by the BR board and he would not want to interfere in their own decision-making process.

He also confirmed that the CEO tendered his renewal application but it was rejected.

Segokgo said at the moment his contract has been extended by six months to pave way for the new CEO.

When asked why his application was rejected, he replied that “like I indicated before the matter is before the board and I would not want to pre-empt why the contract was not renewed.”

Segokgo indicated that the ministry is putting a new strategy that will eventually turn BR in to a profitable entity.

He indicated that it is a fact that BR has challenges and those challenges will be resolved and turn BR into a profitable entity.

The minister assured the public that the report that everybody is patiently waiting for will be release in due course.

 When contacted for comment Makwinja also confirmed that his contract has just ended.

“Yes, my contract has ended and I have been given extension. I am not in position to discuss further details,” said Makwinja.           

The Secretary General of BRAWN Thapelo Molefhe accused Makwinja of failing to address some thorny issues that compromised efforts to turn around the fortunes of the organisation,

He explained that the union was optimistic when he was appointed about three ago that he would turn around the fortunes of the entity but unfortunately, he failed to deliver to their expectation.

Molefhe stated that if Makwinja could have acted swiftly and rooted out those individuals especially the middle management who had a hand i his down fall.

About the anticipated report that is expected to be released, Molefhe expressed disappointment that the minister has taken too long to release the report.

“everyone wants to know what happened regarding the accident that led to loss of lives during the derailment,” said Molefhe.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi constituted a commission of enquiry which that investigated circumstances that led to the derailment of Botswana Railways passenger train last year and the report has been handed to minister Segokgo few weeks back.

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