• Appointed interim Board of Trustees chairman
• Morupisi removed from list of Govt trustees
• BOFEPUSU celebrates temporary takeover at BPOPF
Boitumelo Molefe, the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) principal officer was this week forced to come to the defence of the appointment Botswana Federation of Public Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) Secretary General Tobokani Rari as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the BPOPF on May 09, 2018.
Molefe explained on Wednesday that Rari has been appointed interim chairman because some of the board members are currently in the process of being appointed and are undergoing a due diligence and vetting process as conducted by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA). "Once they have been appointed and the full board is constituted, a voting process will be undertaken to appoint a substantive Board chairperson," she said.
In 2016, Parliament passed the amendment of the Pensions and Provident Funds Act that regulates pension funds such as the BPOPF. Among the changes that were ushered by these amendments is the reduction of the size of the Boards of Trustees of such funds. In order to implement this particular change, the BPOPF called for the nominations of those that would form part of the Board of Trustees under the new arrangement from the constituents of the pension fund.
Government and Trade Unions’ representatives and Independent trustees' names were submitted. Some of the nominated Government representatives and the independent trustee had never been vetted by NBFIRA before and as such, did not qualify to attend the May 09, 2018 meeting. Only those who were nominated and have been part of the old board were invited for that board meeting. It was at that board meeting that in view of the fact that there were members who were not in the meeting because they were awaiting the vetting process, it was agreed that an interim chairperson be elected to chair the Board for the period that the process of vetting would have been completed on all potential board of trustees and at such time that the board would be in full complement. It was at that juncture that Rari was proposed and seconded, hence becoming an interim chairperson.
In an interesting turn of events Government did not submit the then chairman, Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi's name as a potential board member. The removal of Morupisi comes after sustained intense pressure from trade union trustees calling for him to step down after allegations of conflict of interest and corrupt practices surfaced at BPOPF. The fallout culminated with BPOPF board seeking the intervention of NBFIRA and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). Morupisi has consistently denied any allegations of wrong doing.