Three years after it was founded, the Funeral Parlor Association of Botswana (FPAB) will on November 9th be launched at The Travelers Lodge. In an exclusive interview, the Association’s President, Bushie Mosala said the launch will include the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU).
“We have discussed with them and have agreed that on the day of the launch we are going to sign the MOA. This is going to be a good moment for us to popularise our association,” he said.
Some months after it formation, the association expressed with strongest terms, the injustice of monopoly executed by partnership between Botswana Life and the Lyn’s Funeral-one of the reasons for its formation.
Mosala, one of its founders once wrote a letter to Botswana Insurance Council alleging unfair competition and monopoly. He had stated therein that the association takes no prisoners stopping short of accusing the Competition Authority, Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) and the government of being complicit to the unfair competition.
“Let me emphasise that we do know that the relationship between the aforementioned companies is solidified by the ownership of shares by Botswana Life in the FSG group, therefore it is this kind of relationship which stifles competition and encourages monopoly because the insurance company is insuring life policies of different customers with the right to choose their parlor of choice,” stated the letter. He continued to mention that this does not happen because Botswana Life as an insurer does not give customers such leverage but rather direct them to its business partner, FSG to the exclusion of all service providers. This creates monopoly within the industry as other funeral parlors are unable to benefit from the said insurance company.
“We suggest therefore that as a way of increasing customer freedom and flexibility in choosing their funeral parlor of choice, there shouldn’t be direct relationship between insurance companies and funeral parlors.”
Meaning, insurance companies must stick to their own profession of insuring people while funeral parlors must compete in their own profession without any direct influence from these companies.
“To argue that it is up to a customer to choose a funeral parlor of their choice does not hold water in that the staff of the insurance will directly or indirectly influence customers to choose their sister company as the funeral parlor by compulsion,” argued the letter.
The association’s Public Relations Officer, Boy Mokgwathi said they have not arranged for lots of activities during the launch. But he highlighted that they are going to popularise the association through the speeches that are going to be presented. The South African association will also participate at the launch.