• Multi-billion pula asset management tenders signed in Maun
• Manual workers union left in the cold
• 'This is clear contempt of court'- manual workers
Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) is on the verge of appointing a substantive chief executive officer to replace Lesedi Moakofhi who has been acting in the position for two years, investigations by The Patriot on Sunday have revealed.
The board, which has met on several occassions, has appointed a task team of three men being board chairman Carter Morupisi-the Permanent Secretary to the President, Andrew Motsamai- President of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) and Chairperson, Human Resources and Remuneration Committee and Brigadier Charles Nkele of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to negotiate with Cross Kgosidiile, the current Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) boss, to come on board. Before settling for Kgosidiile the name of the former chairman of the board of trustees Rapula Okaile had been bandied about but allegations are that there was objection from some union trustees. Okaile is currently the assitant Director at Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) and a close ally of Morupisi. In an interview on Friday night Morupisi flatly denied that they are negotiating with Okaile. Other board members also confirmed the same. "That's a lie. It is not true. We are not after Rapula. The process to recruit the CEO is ongoing," said Morupisi adding that administrative arrangements of BPOPF guide the recruitment process.
But a source within the board maintains that a new CEO has already been identified from the private sector, approached and an offer presented to him. "We are just awaiting his response," the source said.
Morupisi who claimed that they were in Maun to open regional offices in the village changed and confirmed that they were going to sign new asset management contracts on Saturday when asked why board members would attend such an insignificant event. He confirmed that a few board members were in Maun to attend the ceremony before he quipped, whats wrong with board members attending opening of offices, he asked. He also confirmed that those designated by the board will do the signing the local equity and local bonds tender on behalf of the pension fund on Saturday, but refused to disclose the names of the new asset managers. Another board member explained that BPOPF has not terminated asset managers they already have contracts with but have instead reduced their asset under management and awarded to other firms in new contracts who include Afena capital and African Alliance.
Morupisi castigated The Patriot on Sunday for making enquiries on the goings on at BPOPF despite that it is public institution. Morupisi denied that board of trustees has been partly lured to Maun by a hefty seating allowance alleged to be in the region of P12 000 per meeting and are accomodated in luxurious resorts. He said board members only get P3 000 per seating.
On why NALCGPWU have been left out of the board meetings even though they recently won a court case and have nominated their members to the board, Morupisi said they are delayed by the vetting process. "We don't know, may be they have been vetted out by the regulator," he said, adding that trustees from other trade unions continue to join the board as soon as they are approved by NBFIRA. Efforts to reach NBFIRA public relations manager Tapologo Kwapa failed as he did not answer his cellphone.
But Manual workers are crying foul. Manual workers' National Organisation Secretary Johnson Motshwarakgole and Administrative Secretary Samuel Molaodi said Friday that they have been kept in the dark about the board meetings. They said it would be clear contempt of court if the board has been convening despite that the court order clearly stated that no business of the board shall be carried out until the nomination process has been concluded. They also said they suspect the vetting on their trustees could be deliberately delayed to deny them representation in the BPOPF board. "As far as we are concerned the board is awaiting the finalisation of the vetting process by the regulator to resume business. Neither can management award contracts without approval of the board nor appoint a CEO. We will take the necessary legal action to reverse the whole thing," said Motshwarakgole.
To respond instantly, an emergency meeting between manual workers leadership and their legal advisor on the BPOPF matter attorney Mboki Chilisa was convened for today (Sunday afternoon) with the possibility of filing an urgent application at the High court tomorrow (Monday). On the participation of other trade unions in the BPOPF board which has left them out, they said some may be in agreement with the employer trustees on the decision.