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Beauty and the beef

ASSISTANT MINISTER: Manake

Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Beauty Manake has scoffed at efforts by The Voice Newspaper to establish why the former CEO of Botswana Marketing Board, (BAMB) Leonard Morakaladi was placed under special dispensation to be the preferred candidate for the embattled Botswana Meat Commission. (BMC) top position.

Morakaladi was axed from BAMB in March 2021 under controversial circumstances and allegations of nepotism and corruption, which he vehemently denied.

Recently he was allegedly head hunted by Manake and squeezed into a list of five shortlisted candidates way after the closing date for the BMC job interviews.

He has emerged as a front runner for the Chief Executive position ahead of David Falipau, Stephen Ghanie, Andries Mouton, Derrick Musa and David Fleetwood.

This decision has left BMC Board of Directors shocked and confused by the minister’s apparent blatant disregard for procedure and corporate governance.

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Replying to questions from Voice Reporter last week, Manake said, “ Why would a tabloid want to know about corruption at BMC? The assistant minister then refused to comment any further.

Meanwhile The Voice has been reliably informed that Manake had defied his boss, the minister of Agriculture, Karabo Gare who had commissioned an independent and professional recruitment company, People Connections to handle the recruitment.

FORMER BAMB BOSS: Morakaladi

Gare, who is currently on sick leave was not available to comment on the matter.

However a source close to the events at the massive loss making meat agency has told The Voice that Morakaladi was earmarked for the job as an effort to get him to drop his ongoing unfair dismissal case against government, which looks like he was set to win.

“He was pushed out after he had fired a whole lot of people who allegedly stole 269 bags of beans from the Moshupa BAMB branch in 2019 and he took government to court. And to avoid sordid details of that incident tumbling out in court, Manake has offered Morakaladi a trade off, which is to accept the BMC job and drop the case.’ Said the source.

The country’s troubled beef exporting agency has been without a substantial CEO since its former boss, Dr Akolang Tombale retired in 2016.

Controversy flared up at the financially struggling meat commission when the acting CEO, Boitumelo Mogome-Maseko’s contract was terminated amid controversy surrounding her benefits this early this year.

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Last week it emerged during BMC appearance before the Parliamentary Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises committee, that because of mismanagement, once again BMC declared a massive financial loss of P106 million in 2019.

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