Committee recommends disciplinary action for BDC MD and top officials
The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC)Managing Director, Maria Nthebolan and three of the corporation’s top officials must face disciplinary action.
This was the recommendation made by Parliamentary Special Select Committee of inquiry that was appointed to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration at the corporation last year December.
The committee made the recommendation in its findings of the BDC’s Fengyue Glass Manufacturing (Botswana) Palapye Glass project report that was released to Parliament this week.
“In view of the flagrant breach of the fiduciary duty of care by members of the BDC Management, disciplinary proceedings must be instituted against the following members, Ms Maria Nthebolan (BDC managing Director), Ms Segametsi Ditshupo (General Manager, Business Development), Mr James Kamyuka (General manager, management services) and Mr Isaac Nthomola (Glass Project Desk Officer),” the report read in part.
The committee that was appointed in December 2011 to conduct an enquiry into the allegations of impropriety pertaining to the BDC has discovered that a culture of poor corporate governance at the BDC has plagued the glass project right from the onset.
The report further suggested that failure to execute proper diligence on prospective investment partners on the part of the BDC and wrong decisions by BDC Management compromised and contributed to the project’s failure.
“Ministerial interference resulting in the dismissal of three members of the BDC Board by the Honourable Ontefetse Kenneth Matambo on the eve of the Board’s conduct of disciplinary proceedings against members of the BDC’s management, has compromised and impeded the corporate oversight function of the Board,” further read the report.
The continuing runaway costs on the project whose aggregate capitalization is now near a billion with a projected marginal profitability pose a significant financial exposure to the BDC, the report has stated.
The committee, which was chaired by Kanye South Member of Parliament, Abram Kesupile suggested that since the project risked bringing BDC down, options to fund it separately must be explored.
It further recommended that criminal investigations against figures at Shanghai Fengyue Glass Company should be pursued through both national and international law enforcement agencies in respect of suspected project financial transactions.
In the interim the committee recommended that a committee of a risk management, which should report directly to the Board must be established.
The Parliamentary committee which comprised of 8 MPs assisted by 7 members of staff of the National Assembly was urgently appointed following a motion by South East South MP, Odirile Motlhale, calling on government to appoint a commission of enquiry of the BDC’s dealings in the glass project.