Minister of Agriculture Christian De Graaff has absolved himself from the problems that contributed to the downfall of the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) saying management and BMC Board of Directors should take the blame.
Appearing before the Mephato Reatile’s Special Select Committee of Parliament investigating the downfall of the BMC De Graaff said, “I am not taking the blame for the collapse of the BMC.” The minister shifted the blame to the BMC management and Board saying there are the ones who contributed to the downfall of the organisation.
He argued that operational issues are the duties of the management and being overseen by the Board and thus if anyone is to blame is them not him. He said his role was just to advise and not play policeman.
Even persuasion from committee members that the buck stops with the minister and that he should take the blame could not deter De Graaff’s conviction.
Gilson Saleshando argued that once the buck stops with the minister then he should be responsible and account. To this De Graaff responded: “I don’t agree with you. I went beyond my mandate to try and help the situation.”
For his part Prince Maele, said the minister holds the ultimate authority because he is the one who appoints the BMC Board as well as hiring the Chief Executive Officer so he should also take the blame. But still De Graaff was unfazed. “I don’t agree with you,” was his response.
The minister further said he would not bow to calls that he should resign. “I will definitely not resign. His Excellency the President appointed me, if he wants to part ways with me I will respect that decision. But I think I have performed. I have been under performance review and I have improved.”