Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bona Life could get back to life

By Mpho Keleboge

Following its shut down in July 2018, indigenous life insurance company ÔÇô Bona Life has not made it known to the market whether it will return or not.

The company however on Friday registered a legal victory against one of its shareholders – Capital Management Botswana. Gaborone High Court Judge, Christopher Gabanagae ruled in favour of Bona life and appointed Sifelani Thapelo as provisional liquidator as prescribed by section 38(2) of the companies Act.

In his short ruling, Judge Gabanagae said all rules relating to service and time period are dispensed with petition deemed to be urgent and deserving to the affected parties.

The judge ruled that the matter is urgent but promised to disclose his full reasons in writing.

Bona Life shut its doors in July 2018 owing to an impasse between its shareholders that led to the company operating without a board.  The company has been engaged in a legal battle with CMB directors since the beginning of the year.

The troubled insurance company then took a decision to shut its doors following the refusal by some CMB directors to endorse names that were suggested by other shareholders as possible candidates for Bona Life board membership.

It also emerged ÔÇô in July 2018 that one of the BOP and CMB directors, Tim Marsland wanted his name to be put through as part of the list that will be vetted by the regulator for possible inclusion on the board.

“Tim is insisting that he should, together with one of his associates be part of the Bona Life board. But the problem is that he might not even pass the “fit and proper” test that the regulator subject all the candidates to”, said one source who is close to the matter.

The Gaborone High Court on Friday placed Capital Management Botswana under provisional liquidation paving way for a possible reopening of Bona Life.  

[Bona Life Time Line]

2013: Registered as Bramer Life Insurance with Mauritanian majority shareholder.

July 2015: CMB, BOP replaces Mauritanian shareholders.

Sept 2015: Rebrands to Bona Life

March 2017: P133 million annuity funds invested through CMB.

Oct 2017: BPOPF-CMB dispute ownership of BOP

Dec 2017: BPOPF-CMB fight over ownership of BOP reaches High Court.

Jan 2018: DCEC investigate CMB, placed under statutory management.

April 2018: High Court dismisses CMB Statutory manager appointed by NBFIRA.

May 2018: CMB makes attempt to oust Vaka, fails.

July 2018: Bona Life temporarily shuts its doors, sending home 20 employees.

November 2018: Bona Life wins legal battle to get CMB liquidated.

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