Monday, January 30, 2023

Railways heads shunted into a siding

Botswana Railways CEO, Dominic Ntwaagae faces suspension hardly five months after Minister of Transport and Communication Tshenolo Mabeo reversed a board decision to fire him.

The board has already suspended two Botswana Railways (BR) directors and has asked Ntwaagae to show cause why he should not be suspended as well.

BR Director of Safety Emmanuel Mahosi and Director of Operations Justice Montsho were last Tuesday suspended with immediate effect following a board meeting that went late into the night.

The suspensions follow a recent passenger train accident near Mahalapye resulting in damage to coaches estimated as more than P10 million.

The pair which is charged with operational safety of Botswana Railways was accused of conflict of interest after they joined a team assembled to investigate the accident while they should have been the ones being investigated.

The board felt that Ntwaagae has been misleading them and asked him to show cause why he should not be suspended as well. This comes four months after the board fired Ntwaagae and wrote to Minister Mabeo asking him to endorse the decision. Mabeo however reversed the board decision. Ntwaagae’s fate will be decided at a board meeting this week.

This comes a few weeks after the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime DCEC completed its investigations surrounding the purchasing of BR coaches and forwarding  the docket to the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP  

BR spokesperson Kebabonye Morewagae declined to comment.

Secretary General of Patrick Chengeta of Botswana Railways Amalgamated Workers Union (BRAWU) said they welcomed the suspension of the two directors although the union has not been officially informed.

“It is normal procedure that in an investigation the accused should step aside to allow the investigations to run smoothly without any interference.”

He said unfortunately management has not communicated the suspension officially to the union adding that they hoped BR management will inform them this week.


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