The National Development Bank (NDB) Chief Executive Officer Lorato Morapedi
The National Development Bank (NDB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lorato Morapedi is currently working without a contract following the expiration of her current deal at end of April. Morapedi’s contract ended with the bank yet to release the 2013/14 financial report, which is long overdue.
The report is expected to declare a declining performance by the development bank, and this will be a hard hit since it was established more than 50 years ago.
Highly placed sources at the bank indicate that the financial report is still kept under the rug as there is fear that it might put the CEO on the spot light – at a time when her performance needs to be gauged.
“Obviously the bank is not performing; the CEO took over when we were making profits of around P48 million but now we have been warned in previous meetings that we are anticipating a loss of P87 million as a bank,” an immaculate source told this publication this week.
Some of the employees at the bank have attributed the bank losses to financial mismanagement.
It is understood that already the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo has been notified through a letter dated Monday, 16th February 2015 of which a copy has been passed to the WeekendPost, that the bank needs to take a different strategic direction and it needs leadership renewal.
The National Development Bank Employees Union (NDBEU) warned in the letter, that: “in a highly competitive business of borrowing and lending, and given commercialization drive of NDB, the CEO lacks both the charisma and technical competence to rally her troops.”
The union, which represents a good part of the employees has observed that Morapedi’s leadership has been the sharp rise of resignation of many critical and high ranking officers who were high performers. This has not been helped by the fact that “the board has actively ensued that the few internal audit reports that are highly critical of the CEO’s leadership are swept under the carpet. They have resorted to acting as the CEO’s gatekeepers,” the union complained.
As the Minister, Matambo has the prerogative to decide to renew Morapedi’s contract or not. The minister may also solicit advice from key stakeholders like Bank of Botswana – which normally influences appointments of management in banks, including NDB. Under normal circumstances, NDB board recommends contracts and then the Minister approves.
WeekendPost is reliably informed that the contract of the CEO ended last month after serving in the position for close to five years.
However when contacted for comment, NDB Head of Branding, Marketing and Communications Harry Marks was tight lipped on the CEO contractual disclosure preferring not to divulge the information.
“It is in the best interest of the bank and its employees not to divulge any contractual agreement to third parties. It would be very unfair to the employee and against the bank’s policy for the bank to discuss employee’s contract with a third party as this is confidential,” he stated.
He emphasized that they are not aware of the allegations of the CEO parting ways with the bank. Instead, he said the CEO is steadfast in following up the transformation agenda towards Privatization and Commercializing the bank.
According to the letter penned by the union to Matambo, the lack of engagement by Morapedi and staff has resulted in staff giving contradicting and sometimes unconvincing information when engaged by customers. “It would not be long before these frustrated employees deliberately churn out negative information to the customers,” the letter stated.
The employees also said that from the beginning of this year (2015), the board was still reluctant to engage them on the matters they raised with them and resorted to advancing technical arguments intended to frustrate meaningful dialogue and conveniently did so. As consequence, the employees then resolved for a vote of no confidence on the CEO, bank management.
“As a consequence of this conduct by both the Board and Management Honourable Minister, the Union has in pursuant of its strategic and national interest in the operations of NDB, at its meeting of the 11th February 2015 resolved to pass a motion of no confidence against both the Board and Management.”
Following this resolution, the minister was informed that the CEO has resorted to rather unorthodox and desperate methods of engagement by intimidating and seeking to victimize union members. “We hope the breach is not influenced by an elaborate attempt by the CEO to ensure that all channels are blocked to operationalize the resolution of the Union,” they sated in the letter.
The basis of the motion of no confidence against the CEO is said to have been influenced mainly by the financial position of the bank – which is said to have been declining – and anticipated to be at its lowest in the financial report of 2014.
However, the NDB spokesperson Marks told this publication that the bank has not received any motion of no confidence on the CEO. Marks however confirmed to this publication that “financials for 2014 are yet to be approved and it has been mentioned that the bank is anticipating an operational loss.”
He pointed out that the loss is due to high impairments and provision thereof, an interest rate constrained environment, leading to reduced liquidity and that this scenario is not only peculiar to NDB.
“Overall, the banking sector has been experiencing a decline in profitability due to the aftershocks of the 2008 world economic meltdown and partly due to a combination of other factors,” he justified.
It is understood that the past financial year that ended on 30th April 2014 is in fact the worst in terms of financial reporting. It is reported that to date, the external auditors are yet to complete their audit of the bank’s financials. Furthermore, this publication understands that the deadline of the 30th June 2014 which had earlier been agreed to between NDB and the Bank of Botswana – has long lapsed.
Stakeholders also revealed that “a subsequent extension of time has also not been met. The statutory reporting deadline for NDB has always been the 30th September 2014, yet this too has not been met. Timelines aside, it is months into the next financial year, yet previous year end financials have not been finalized. This is preposterous by any stretch of imagination.”
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.