Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bokamoso Hospital creditors want ‘conflicted’ trustee disqualified

Companies owed by Bokamoso Hospital trust have called for one of the joint trustees responsible for the winding up and supervision of the Bokamoso Private Hospital Trust to resign because of a conflict of interest.

According to a string of letters written by lawyers acting for some of the creditors scuffling for the Bokamoso Private Hospital remains, Collins Chilisa Consultants, Max Marinelli should be disqualified from acting as a trustee for Bokamoso Hospital trust because he recommended for the cash strapped company to close shop.

The creditors argue that the winding up process is mostly likely to be in favour of Botswana Public Officers Pensions Fund (BPOMAS), because Marinelli, while representing Deloitte and Touche as advisers to the trust before the sequestration was responsible for the Bokamoso Hospital project.

The creditors claim Marinelli was not only responsible for restructuring at Bokamoso, but also recommended sequestration and possible acquisition of investors or potential business partners and buyers.

“The position of Max Marinelli as the lead partner in a relationship where he led a Deloitte team acting as the exclusive professional advisers to BPOMAS prior to the sequestration of Bokamoso disqualifies Max Marinelli from being fit to be a trustee in the Bokamoso insolvent estate…it has not been suggested that his relationship has been terminated in any way,” reads a letter from the lawyers, dated February 20th of 2012.

“Your clients’ failure to respond to our correspondence constitutes a failure by your clients to carry out their duties to act as independent trustees in the execution of the duties and responsibilities placed upon them under the insolvency Act. Furthermore, the only letter to emanate from your offices in relation to the issues that have concerned our client constitutes a spiteful and petty act of revenge, inspired by BPOMAS. It is a further indication that your clients are not acting independently and impartially in the execution of the duties placed upon them under the Insolvency Act,” it also reads in part.

Along with Dr Edward Maganu, Marinelli was appointed as one of the supervisors of the winding up of the Bokamo Hospital Trust, owners of Bokamoso Private Hospital.

“As the exclusive financial advisers to BPOMAS, your client’s interest is in favour of BPOMAS, a single creditor in the estate and consequently opposed to the general interest of the creditors of the estate. Your attention is drawn to the provision of Section 60 and 62 of the Insolvency Act.

“Under the circumstances we write to invite the immediate resignation of your client Mr Max Marinelli, as he is clearly disqualified, failing which our client intends applying to the Master, alternatively to court, for his removal. In this regard, it would be helpful for the Master, alternatively the court, to be apprised of reasons why Mr Marinelli believes he is not disqualified. Our client may have to ask the court to draw inferences in the absence of any response,” states the letter from the creditor’s lawyers, Collins Chilisa Consultant.

However, the joint trustees have threatened to remove Standard Chartered and others opposed to Marinelli’s involvement from the list of creditors.

In the only available response to this accusation, the joint trustees have indicated that they also intend to remove Standard Chartered bank and other creditors on the list of creditors.

Bokamoso Private Hospital crumbled barely a year after opening as a result of a flawed business model based on 100 percent occupancy rate in a 200-bed hospital with high staff wages.

The creditors are demanding over P60 million from the trust. Having pumped money into the project, founders of the Bokamoso Private hospital Trust, BPOMAS and PULA Medical schemes, also want a share from the sequestration. However, creditors insist the medical aids are entitled to a penny.

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