20 March 2019

Botswana: Knives Out for Br Properties CEO

Underhand tactics to try and overthrow the youthful Managing Director of BR Properties Utlwanang Golebanye have been exposed.

Information gathered by the publications shows that the arrival of Golebanye at BR Properties rubbed some senior members of the staff who were already having design on the position the wrong way.

Recently the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) officials visited the property wing of Botswana Railways to investigate his appointment as the MD as some senior staff members felt that he didn't qualify for the position. It is claimed they felt he was only favoured by the Board of Directors.

Golebanye holds BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management: Property Investment, Property Appraisal & Valuation, Property Strategy & Funding, Business Economics from Kingston University in London.

He was appointed as Property Manager responsible for integrated Property management Service: Land Management, Property management and Marketing of Industrial, commercial and residential properties as well as acting Managing Director before his appointment to the position in June last year.

"The board took the decision to appoint him MD after he had acted for a long time and was offered an offer by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) for the position of director Property services, and we had to counter the offer," revealed one board member who refused to be named.

Things started to take a nasty turn when he implemented the recommendations of the auditors who had advised that a substantive head of Finance and Administration be appointed instead having the position being acted upon by Head of Human Resources.

"Head of Human Resources was not qualified to handle the finances of the company as he was not qualified for that position," revealed a source at BR Properties.

This allegedly did not sit well with some within the company who were deployed from the main company, Botswana Railways as they felt that Golebanye was stepping on their toes.

Contacted for comment Golebanye said he was not aware of investigations by DCEC about his appointment.

Regarding some witch hunting against him by some senior staff members he said, "There will always be corridors gossips. One cannot avoid them but has to ensure that they don't entertain them."

Multimillion tenders

BR Properties is currently embarking on multi-million tenders and this has put him on collision with some who were in charge of procurement portfolio.

Lobatse Pedestrian Bridge

BR Properties in partnership with Lobatse Town Council are constructing a pedestrian bridge which is currently at design stage and will cost P15 million. Construction is expected to commence next month.

"Golebanye asked one of the procurement team members to recuse himself from the evaluation of the tender as his brother was also one of the bidders and this didn't sit well with the member," revealed another source. This is said to have resulted with the MD being targeted.

Other projects by BR Properties

Francistown mall

In 2014 Botswana Railways created some excitement in the country's second city when they announced that they will build a mall worth over P300 million with construction set to have commenced in 2017. The project was delayed as BR properties looked around for appropriate partners while conducting a feasibility study. The state-owned company has already done the feasibility and identified a partner. Groundbreaking ceremony to start the construction of the mall is expected to take place in September this year. The envisaged huge state of the art mall, which will be the first of its kind in the second city, will encompass luxurious hotels, parks and other amenities.

BR Highlanders Stadium

BR Properties will construct a stadium in Mahalapye for their premier league team BR Highlanders and a tender has been floated for design of the stadium.

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