Saturday, October 31, 2020

Big heads to roll at BPOPF

Business Tycoon, Parks Gaobakwe, may be asked to step down as trustee of the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund following recommendations carried in an investigation report on the goings on at the fund.

Gaobakwe, who goes by the sobriquet “ Uncle Parks”, is implicated in a conflict of interest and unfair practice in a failed bid to sell Mascom shares that is believed to have cost tax payers more than P200 million.

“While the Mascom deal was under discussion, a consortium of citizens wished to purchase the shares. The evidence given by African Alliance strongly suggests that the leader of the consortium was Mr. Gaobakwe who is a trustee of the BPOPF. Mr. Gaobakwe denied this at a trustee meeting, but apparently admitted this at a later stage,” reported Jacques Malan Consultancies and Actuaries who were commissioned to investigate the goings on at BPOPF.

Jacques Malan Consultants and Actuaries reported that they had not been able to prove this beyond doubt but called on the registrar to establish the truth. They recommended that if it is true, then the lack of good governance and the conflict of interest are severe and, in fact, Mr. Gaobakwe lied to the trust. If true, Mr. Gaobakwe should cease to be a trustee of the Fund.

Gaobakwe’s name also comes up in the decision to fire African Alliance from BPOPF. According to the report that has been passed to The Sunday Standard, the decision to fire African Alliance shows BPOPF in a very poor light for the following reasons:
“Why remove one of the best performing asset managers? There is a potential loss of future investment performance by the fund.” The report further asks, “Was the African Alliance appointment terminated for any personal or vindictive reasons? It would appear that Mr. Gaobakwe played a leading role in these discussions. It also emerged in the report the BPOPF refused to disclose crucial information on the termination of African Alliance. “By seemingly concealing this information it leaves an impression that something is not right and is being hidden.”

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