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PAC queries BDC boss’ contract renewal

PAULINE DIKUELO
Gaetsaloe
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned the manner in which the contract of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) managing director (MD) was renewed. Bashi Gaetsaloe’s three-year contract expired in April this year and was recently renewed by the board.

The PAC wanted to know the procedure that was used to re-appoint the MD and if the board by then was fully constituted to do so and requested for the minutes of the meeting.

“Is the BDC board fully constituted and during the time when the MD’s contract was renewed, was it fully constituted to do so and can we see the minutes of the meeting?” asked Member of Parliament for Tati East, Samson Moyo Guma.

In response, the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry permanent secretary Peggy Serame who was appearing before the committee said what she knew was that the board chairperson wrote a letter to the Minister informing him of their decision to renew Gaetsaloe’s contract.

“BDC’s board is fully constituted. Some members’ terms expired but were replaced as the latest appointment was in early May this year.

About the MD’s contract renewal, all I know is that there was a board meeting

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which made that decision which was followed by the chairperson writing a letter to the Minister suggesting the contract renewal,” she said. However, reliable sources within the Corporation said when the MD was appointed, the board was not fully constituted.

Gaetsaloe joined BDC, as the MD effective April 2014 tasked with the transformation of the business and its five-year strategy in which his target was to double the Corporation’s P3.6 billion balance sheet in five years. When he took over the reigns at the government investment arm, BDC was a troubled entity weighed down by some subsidiaries that perennially bled losses.

By then he trimmed BDC’s staff complement from 90 to 50 in which he said was not just reducing staff costs but it included bringing new skills particularly in the areas of venture capital, private equity and risk management.

He has successfully led the BDC transformation programme for the past three years.



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