Members of the ParliamentarySelect Committeewere shockedlast week when former BotswanaMeat Commission (BMC) ChiefExecutive Offi cer (CEO) IanThompson revealed that he has noacademic qualifi cation. Thompson,a l, said he only attendedschool up to high school level.According to Thompson, he volunteeredhis services to the BMCwith no other motive than to assistthe paralysed BMC. “I defi nitelyvolunteered hoping that I willchange the BMC, if procedureswere not followed at certain level,I cannot answer for that. Now I amstarting to ask myself why I volunteeredmy time to BMC becauseit brought nothing but embarrassmentto me and my family. Neverin my life will I consider goingback to BMC.
It is easy to run theBMC but there is too much interferenceof politics and too muchracism. BMC need to be commercialised,it cannot be operated likean institution, and you cannot runa commercial entity like an institution.There was much infl uencefrom outside; the Department ofVeterinary Service (DVS) controlledthe BMC,” he said.Thompson who was dismissedfrom his acting CEO position inSeptember 2012 whilst away on ahunting trip, said BMC is made upof underperforming staff who justreport for work at 0800 hrs andknock off at 1630hrs, and wouldstill get their full packages at theend of month despite their incompetence.“During my time the staffwas unwilling to work and theysaw us as enemies. The entire staffwere against us.
I even initiatedthat former CEO, Professor DavidFalepau be fi red because he had noknowledge of the BMC whatsoever.He had no intention of staying;he was not engaged in the business.I even went ahead and discussedhis incompetence in Cape Townwith Neil Fitt, Rowland Mungerand other board members,” he said.Committee member PrinceMaele asked Thompson what informedhim that Falepau did nothave a commercial grip. In his responsehe said, Falepau truly couldnot answer the most obvious questionsin the Board meetings as hewas clueless and had no controlover his fi nances.The chairman of the committee,Mephato Reatile asked him whetherhe was aware that he cost BMCa lot of money when he appointedSiva Prasad as his fi nancial adviser.Thompson answered that he didnot see any cost to the BMC at thetime because there was no controlover fi nances.
“I asked Prasad to come assistme with fi nancial advice as we hadno fi nance director at the time andthe man had intimate knowledgeof BMC fi nances. If what I didwas unprocedural then I take theblame,” he said.Appearing shortly after Thompson,Prasad also emphasized thatduring his time at the BMC therewas no control over fi nances andas a fi nance person it was a shock.“Even during the time I was sittingon the board we did not knowabout any incoming fi nances andthe outgoing fi nances. There wasno fi nancial control. There wereshort falls most of the time. Checkswere not captured. That is when Icame to know that there were plentyof active accounts from variousbanks both belonging to the BMCof which some of them the ITDepartment’s person was a signatory,”he said.As a fi nancial advisor, Prasadhad never seen a single cash fl owstatement during his time at theBMC.
“The accounting was totallyfalse. The skill level of theaccounting personnel was zero. Ihave never seen a single cash fl owat BMC during my time and I questionedabout that only to be givenan answer, “we are ok”. What surprisedme was that after they saidthat in a week’s time we asked forextra money from the government.If perfectly run and perfectly managedthe BMC can make a profi tof over 150 million pula a year buthonestly if it is mismanaged like itis currently it will make zero profit,”he said.Prasad stressed that there mustbe controls to ensure proper runningof the BMC. “There is nostock accounting. Many peoplethere need to be disciplined. I havenever had such bad feelings in mylife after I worked so hard for theBMC. I never thought my hardwork would be treated this way bythis country,” he said.However Prasad said Botswanahas a tendency of believing inforeign expertise even if there arepeople here in Botswana who cando a better job.