Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Makaya calls it a day at Cresta Marakanelo

The managing director of Cresta Marakanelo Limited, Tawanda Makaya, has quit his job. 

Makaya’s resignation, which has been confirmed by the company, is with immediate effect and follows a recent financial scandal that involved him and the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Valentine Mganga. 

The pair was suspended in mid October 2016 after the company launched a probe on a potential financial irregularity involving money estimated at around P2.3 million. 

Makaya joined Cresta as the Group Financial Controller in 1996 before rising through the ranks to become CFO and eventually Managing Director in 2007. 

On the other hand, Mganga who previously worked at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) as a Senior Internal Auditor, joined Cresta as the finance manager in 2007. 

Founded in 1974, Cresta initially BDC Hotel Management, has big names like Cresta Lodge, President Hotel, Botsalo Hotel, Bosele Hotel, Marang Gardens and Hotel, President Hotel, Riley’s Hotel, and Cresta Mowana Safari Lodge under its arm.

The company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) some six years back after the then main shareholder, Botswana Development Corporation, put up 62.9 million shares in an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The IPO was made up of 40.7 million shares offered to the public at P1.45 per share, while 18.5 million was sold through private placement.  The remaining 3.7 million was bought by the company on behalf of its employees. The IPO which was 94 percent subscribed managed to raise P55.4 million, a record for the BSE at that time. 

The listing of the company resulted in a new shareholding structure, with BDC now holding 26 percent of the total issued shares, leaving TA Botswana as the single largest shareholder at 40 percent while the public holds 34 percent.

Over the years, Cresta has been recognised in the local market as the largest hotel operator both in the number of rooms and in the geographical spread of its hotels. 

However, capital markets figures shows that when the news of the suspension of the pair broke, investors seemed to have not lost confidence in the company. At the time, its stock price closed the week at 131 Thebe per share while this past week it once again cruised in black trading at 128 thebe per share. 

On Friday, when confirming the resignation of Makaya, Cresta cautioned its shareholders to exercise vigilance when dealing in the company’s shares until a full announcement is made. 

The company further noted that the process of identifying a new managing director and chief financial officer to lead the business will commence shortly. 

“In the meanwhile, Glenn Stutchbury and Chipo Mandela will continue to act as Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer respectively,” Cresta said. 

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