Friday, September 25, 2020

Botswana Life trail-blazes with whistle-blowing initiative

In a bid to combat fraud committed in the name of Botswana Life, Botswana’s biggest life insurer is promoting its hotline for the public to come fourth and report unethical behaviour.

The insurer stated that the toll free number is meant to combat workplace dishonesty and it is available to employees and external stakeholders to report incidents that can harm the company’s reputation.

Motheo Selabe, the Forensic and Compliance Advisor in the Risk and Compliance division at Botswana Life, told Sunday Standard that the hotline is meant to take the company above competition and also to take responsibility as market leader.

“Botswana Life feels it must take that step. We pride ourselves of high business ethics and that is why we took the initiative,” explained Selabe.

Some of the unethical conduct that whistle blowers could report on include a Botswana Life representative abusing company property, theft, corruption within the company and sexual harassment, amongst others.

When a member of the public calls, they are given a reference number so that if they need feedback, they can always get back at the hotline in an effort to keep the caller anonymous.

It is available in a number of languages including Setswana and English.

Selabe revealed that although Botswana Life hotline has been having good response, they needed to sensitise the public more about the initiative.

She said members of the public are using the hotline although most of the concerns they raise are not fraud related.

“We encourage them to report fraud and unethical behavior,” she added.

Selabe also advised Botswana Life prospective clients on tips lest they fall prey to fraudsters masquerading as representatives of the insurer.

She implored prospective clients that when someone sells policies to them, they have to ask for the names and identity cards of the intermediaries.

She also advised prospective clients to read paperwork before penning signatures so that they are aware of what they are entering into.

The move will help thousands of Batswana who might want to go into agreements only to have difficulties when the time to pay premiums comes.

Selabe revealed that this would protect the integrity of Botswana Life, a company that Batswana have entrusted their lives with to manage their wealth.

When reporting fraud, Botswana Life is also advising Batswana to provide certain specifics, like the date and time of the incident.

The whistle blowers should also state the names and people involved, how many people are involved and whether they have proof of what they are reporting.

They should also state whether the incidents are happening regularly, where the incident took place and whether there was any money involved.

The insurer has promised the callers that Tip-offs Anonymous is completely independent of Botswana Life and they can remain anonymous.

The hotline is available for 24 hours throughout the year. Botswana Life is a subsidiary of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), which is one of the top companies on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).

The hotline is available on BTC: 0800 600 644, Orange: 1144 and Mascom at 71119780.

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