With the outgoing Managing Director of the Botswana Development Corporation, Kenneth Matambo, having effectively finished clearing his desk, interest is now shifting towards his replacement.
For close to ten years now, Matambo, a retired career civil servant headed BDC which he helped to turn around from a money losing entity when he adopted a highly acclaimed corporate strategy that effectively became the company’s blueprint gospel.
With Matambo now out, attention has narrowed down to two possible replacements, Ms. Maria Nthebolan (who is one of the General Managers at BDC) and Dr. Thapelo Matsheka who is currently the Chief Executive of CEDA (Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency).
The matter is due to be discussed at the Board this coming week.
Sunday Standard has it on good record that Dr. Matsheka has an advantage, at least on the points so far scored during the interview process.
Ms. Nthebolan’s strengths, however, include the fact that she is a BDC insider through and through.
Given BDC’s importance to the country’s economy, Botswana’s corporate sector is watching developments therein with a keen interest.
Sunday Standard can 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.
Detractors have been quick to remind the interviewing panel that two years ago the former Economics lecturer had long tussles with his supervisors at the Ministry of Finance ÔÇô a difficult relationship that saw the ministry hold back the renewal of Matsheka’s contract by up to a year.
But so far the interviewers have stuck to their script, casting aside all attempts to influence them and insisting that the fact that Matsheka was in the end reappointed is all that matters.
“It is important to note that whatever decision will ultimately be taken will be based on merit. In this instance, not even gender will be an issue,” said a source close to the appointing process.
Cabinet is expected to take a final decision shortly following the recommendations from the Board.
“The deciding feature is likely to be technical scorecards compiled from the interview process,” said a source at the Ministry of Finance under which BDC falls.
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 Ian Khama’s 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.
The corporation has a substantial stake in Sechaba Holdings, a blue chip listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange which controls the multi-billion Pula business of Kgalagadi and Botswana Breweries, two companies that recently attracted attention when they took government to court over the alcohol levy.
Given its strategic importance, BDC is somewhere among the country’s top three companies , in the league of Debswana Diamond Company and a few other mining houses like BCL.
The influence and power of BDC is also underscored by the remuneration package of the company’s Managing Director who has his perks head and shoulders above all of the government parastatals.