Bona Life back from the brink

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 02 January 2019   |   By Lame Modise
Regina Sikalesele-Vaka Regina Sikalesele-Vaka

Troubles for infant retirement insurance provider Bona Life are over; the company’s founding Board Chairperson and CEO, Regina Sikalesele-Vaka has declared.

Bona Life bounces back after being closed by the regulator, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) following a tumultuous fight for control of the company. A confident Sikalesele-Vaka declared this week that the worst was behind them.

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Briefing the media on the green-light given by the regulator to re-open, Sikalesele-Vaka said during the closure of the office, they only serviced existing clients and were barred from sourcing any new clients.

She assured current and prospective clients as well as the public that operations at the company were in full swing with a Board of Directors that quorates.

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“The five board member team is currently looking at 8 other Curriculum Vitae’s to add on to the existing team,” she announced.

The company closed after a legal dispute broke up between the company Shareholders which made it impossible for the company to operate properly.

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By the time NBFIRA intervened, the relationship between Capital Management Botswana (CMB), which is currently going through the initial stages of liquidation, and Bona Life CEO had soured and broken down irretrievably.

“NBFIRA intervened to provide oversight over Bona Life to protect the interests of policyholders and pensioners,” she explained, continuing that the regulator took appropriate action to ensure pensioners’ investments were protected.

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She said CMB, who were in control of 65% of Bona Life, and were under investigation by five state agencies being NBFIRA, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), Botswana Police Force and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS). The investigations followed a fall-out between CMB and the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), where the two were at logger heads over who owns 40% of Bona Life. Sikalesele-Vaka said the ownership of the 40% has been cleared before the highest court of law in the country, the Court of Appeal.

“The CMB is being wound up and no longer has control over Bona Life and will no longer be a shareholder after liquidation,” she said, adding that the company, opened in 2013, will appoint asset managers to properly manage its assets. Bona Life will regain P133.5 million in the CMB 1 Fund, which was placed under the care of the now defunct CMB.



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