Vaka dismisses allegations against Bona Life

28th March 2018
Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, Bona Life CEO Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter

 Bona Life Chief Executive Officer, Regina Sikalesele-Vaka has dismissed all allegations against Bona Life over the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) multi-million Pula funds which are currently under investigation by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). CMB has filed a P650 million suit against Sikalesele-Vaka. CMB’s lawyers, Kanjabanga & Associates, are demanding P650 million from the Bona Life CEO in her personal capacity, which they say is damages for alleged conduct in the running of the insurer.

CMB and BPOPF are partners in Botswana Opportunities Fund (BOP), which in turn holds 40 percent of Bona Life. CMB separately holds another 25 percent, while Sikalesele-Vaka holds 25 percent. Sikalesele-Vaka revealed on Thursday that the letter written by CMB Directors to the CEO of Bona Life is defamatory and intended to cause permanent damage to the reputation of the CEO and Bona Life Brand. “This is addressed through appropriate legal channels. The claim for P650 million is invalid, made in bad faith and cannot be sustained in any court of law.

The authors of the letter does not have authority to represent CMB which is under statutory management and can only be represented by the statutory manager,” said Vaka. She explained that the authors of the letter, Rapula Okaile who is also a director of Bona Life is not a shareholder of Bona Life so he does not have a claim against the CEO. Currently, Bona Life is in a public dispute with BPOPF (its partner in BOP) over the management and ownership of the BOP. The BPOPF released approximately P477 million pensioner funds to be managed by CMB, which cannot be fully accounted for. After making some investments in different companies including Bona Life, CMB sold the BOP to its holding company CMA for P50 million and dismissed the BPOPF from the BOP.

Vaka said Bona Life reported CMB to Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) because Bona Life was receiving inconsistent reports on its investments with CMB and it became aware of a petition to liquidate CMB Fund 1, a subsidiary of CMB which holds assets in which Bona Life has an interest and that CMB was under investigation by the DCEC for possible criminal offenses. Bona Life has reported its challenges to NBFIRA to enable it to perform its role of protecting the clients of Bona Life in accordance with the law. Currently, Bona Life has some investments made through CMB, which is currently under statutory management and is being investigated by the DCEC, 84 percent of the funds are held in Bona Life and invested in secure Botswana government bonds and fixed instruments.

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