Former Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited Board chairman, Leonard Makwinja has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Railways, effective July 1st 2017.
Minister of Transport and Communications Kitso Mokaila confirmed on Tuesday that the railway parastatal has hired Makwinja on a three-year contract. “At the end of his contract, we are positive that BR would be in a different state, it will be turned around. We looked at his experience and found that he is the right man for the post,” said Mokaila.
Makwinja is replacing former chief executive, Dominic Ntwaagae who quit his plum post in February 24th this year, a month before his term ended in March.
More often than not, the government parastatals recycle Chief Executive Officers and Board of Directors, which is now becoming a worrying trend to the ordinary man.
The Minister could not share details of the shortlisted candidates and what influenced them to settle for Makwinja, an almost retired if not fully retired individual than to have a new and fresh face. Close sources say from the 18 applicants, Makwinja came third in the top three. Alex Masie was the second runner-up, with the BR Director Business Development who is also current Acting CEO, Stephen Makuke leading the pack.
Makwinja formerly worked for Debswana Diamond company and has served as BTCL Board chairman since 2006, where he left in 2014 to join the BancABC Board.When he stepped into the BTCL Board chairmanship, the telecommunication company was not in a good financial position and was going through serious billing challenges.
Through his headship, BTCL strived for cost efficiencies whilst building an advanced converged portfolio of products supported by world class IT and network infrastructure to help boost digital inclusiveness.
This saw the company in 2008/09 financial reporting period recording profit and in the next period recording the billion-mark for the first time. Makwinja holds a Master of Science Degree in Industrial and Administration Sciences from City University, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Mineral Exploration (Honours) from the University of Cardiff, UK. He first attained his first Degree in 1976 following a sponsorship by Anglo American.