Almost five months after the process to replace Ken Matambo as Managing Director of the Botswana Development Corporation started, there is still no replacement.
While Matambo officially left BDC at the end of last year, the process to replace him had been ongoing for months.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that the process hit a snag after the BDC Board recommended Thapelo Matsheka’s name to the Ministry of Finance, which is the line ministry supervising BDC.
Dr. Matsheka, currently the Chief Executive at CEDA (Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency) and the Ministry of Finance have in the past had a long tussle, which at one point saw the ministry refusing to renew his contract.
Indications are that the ministry would prefer the Board’s second choice – Maria Nthebolan who the Ministry says is well grounded in investment banking.
Sunday Standard has it on good record that Dr. Matsheka had an upper urge, at least on the points scored during the interview process.
Other than that she enjoys the backing of the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Nthebolan’s strengths also include the fact that she is a BDC insider, currently holding the position of General Manager.
Sunday Standard can also confirm that there has been a lot of behind the scenes lobbying, with some interests trying to use Matsheka’s independent minded streak against him.
During the interview sessions, some detractors were quick to remind the interviewing panel that two years ago the former Economics Lecturer at the University of Botswana had long tussles with his supervisors at the Ministry of Finance ÔÇô a difficult relationship that saw the ministry only grudgingly extend his term by two years.
But indications are that the interviewers stuck to their guns and eventually recommended Matsheka.
President Ian Khama is said to have lost his patience over the dilly-dallying and instructed the Minister of Finance to bring the matter to cabinet immediately for finalization.
It would be interesting to see how the plot plays out in the next few days or weeks.
BDC is a leading investment arm of government and indications are that the company’s clout and importance is poised to grow further under President Khama who has already made known his intention to use the private sector to supplement government in the effort of employment creation and diversification.
Wholly owned by government, BDC has under its management close to a hundred subsidiaries and associate companies.