- Minister has been briefed on the matter
- Management says BR is not broke
Minister of Transport and Communications Thulaganyo Segokgo is working vigorously to avert more locomotives of Botswana Railways being attached to defray debt, The Botswana Gazette has established.
However, reliable sources say deputy sheriffs have already attached computers, servers and locomotive No. 315 of Botswana Railways. Minister Segokgo’s concern follows a writ of execution awarded against BR in a matter with one Kepaletswe Nkoga last week. Nkoga is a former employee of BR who was unfairly dismissed from work in 2011. After more than five years before the courts, the ex-BR employee’s application for a writ of execution against BR was successfully granted last week.
“Yes, I am aware of the matter,” the minister said. “I have been briefed about it. It is matter of concern but we have allowed BR to deal with it. I cannot reveal anything from our meeting at this point,” Minister Segokgo said in an interview.
However, the minister dismissed suggestions that the matter may reflect the national railway company’s financial distress.
The writ reads in part: “You are hereby directed to attach the movable goods of the above mentioned respondent at the Botswana Railways headquarters situated along the A1, Mahalapye Main Road, Mowana Ward, Mahalapye Botswana and of the same to cause to be realised by public auction the sum of Pula equivalent of BWP 487,080.00, which it recovered by judgement of this court dated 26 February 2016.”
Sources say deputy sheriffs arrived at the BR headquarters in Mahalapye last Friday to execute the court order and proceeded to attach the public company’s computers, servers and locomotive No. 315.
However, the company’s head of communications, Sakaiyo Baitshepi, BR has filed an urgent application for a stay of execution of the court order. “We wish to reassure our employees, customers and clients that Botswana Railways is not broke,” Baitshepi said. “Botswana Railways is financially stable and has the capacity to meet its debts.”