Encumbered with a P93million setback due from government for the losses incurred by the perennial loss making Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) coupled by the meat processing entity’s uncertain future, the organization’s CEO Dr. Akolang Tombale is contemplating quitting.
Tombale, who retired from his post as the board chairperson of another cash strapped and troubled BCL Mine in June this year, told WeekendPost in an interview that he might consider jumping the sinking ship if the government does not implement some of the measures to save the parastatal.
“I was hired to save BMC from sinking further into serious financial doldrums,” said the soft-spoken Tombale in an interview with this publication on the sidelines of a recent 2nd BMC Baruakgomo Pitso in Francistown.
Tombale added: “If the measures I would like to implement are not taken into consideration, I am left without an option but to throw in the towel. This is so because there are two things involved thus being fired if I fail to resuscitate the commission or resigning.”
In order to give BMC the kiss of life, Tombale has recommended that Francistown and Maun abattoirs should be separated from the BMC Group and operated solely under government funding.
This is so because Francistown and Maun abattoirs now depend solely on BMC Lobatse for financial support, according to Tombale. And running BMC commercially, the commission cannot operate the two abattoirs since they are making losses, he said.
According to Tombale, the current business environment does not support intended reforms, as losses are weighing heavily on the enterprise or plant’s cash flow. Tombale further lamented that climatic conditions also pose even greater challenges to sustaining cattle supply to BMC – including the quality of cattle supplied to the meat processing firm.
“Cab Memo of 2006, which discouraged closure of BMC Francistown and reimbursement on operational losses (now amounting to P93million) is not being fully implemented as instructed,” lamented Tombale.
In 2006, BMC submitted a proposal to the government to mothball the plant, as it was making losses and draining the cash flow. However, the government through the presidential directive cab 13 (a) of 2006 advised that BMC continue to operate the plant and be reimbursed for the losses year of year.
“But the BMC’s recent and current performance does not reflect does not reflect a dynamic and responsive approach and it does not have competitive advantage is most facets of its operations,” said Tombale.
BMC was established in the late ’80s with the objective to increase throughput every year in accordance with the corporate plan and reach optimum capacity utilization by the year 2008.
Eight years later, throughput however remains volatile for BMC and the long term trend is downwards with the meat processing company now slaughtering less than 50percent of the annual kill in Botswana.
Endless efforts to get a comment on the government’s position drew a blank, as the Minister of Agriculture Patrick Ralotsia was not answering his mobile phone until press time.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.