Thursday, July 9, 2020

Sikalesele-Vaka quits cash strapped Bona Life

The local life insurance company, Bona Life’s founding chief executive officer (CEO) Regina Sikalesele-Vaka resigned her position and that of Board Director last week effective 10 January 2020, The Sunday Standard can reveal.

Contacted for comment on Friday, Sikalesele-Vaka confirmed her resignation from the company. She remained cagey about the details of her decision. Further quizzed, Sikalesele-Vaka stated that her resignation from the company as CEO and director is to allow the majority shareholder BPOPF to consolidate its financial position and take the company to the next level.

The Sunday Standard understands from an insider that she opted not to seek an extension of her initial five-year contract which ended in December 2018.

“The Board gave her  an extra one year contract with an option for further  renewal  of one year which meant a two-year stay  as CEO but she did not avail herself  and expressed to the board that  she will step down as per the current contract of one year,” said the source.

The company has been rendered paralyzed as a result of lack of cash injection and alleged that it can no longer implement the strategy due to lack of funding from the shareholder.

Bona Life is 100 percent owned by Foudello (Pty) Ltd which in turn is owned Botswana Opportunity Partnership (BOP) (with 40 percent shareholding) which is a partnership between the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Viltry (100 percent owned by BPOPF), 25 percent is  Capital Management Botswana (in liquidation), 25 percent Regina Vaka and 10 percent is staff share scheme.

Information reaching this publication is that Bona Life is paralyzed and there is a requirement from Non Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) for capital injection of about P65 million.

Bona Life is reportedly approached shareholder Foudello and BOP and that Sikalesele-Vaka was not in a position to invest her share of what is required and BOP was not in the position. Foudello therefore approved that Bona request for external funding. Information also reaching this publication is that a consultant was hired by Bona Life to raise capital.

Previously the regulatory authority  NBFIRA directed Bona Life shareholders to inject capital into the business as required by law and it is reportedly that she extended her contract with Bona to assist resuscitate the company has reconstituted the board ad the board appointed financial consultants to assist to restructure the company.

A few years back under Sikalesele-Vaka’s leadership, Bona Life reported fraud and criminality by Capital Management Botswana (CMB) to the Regulator NBFIRA for action and also fought against attempts by the CMB to fire her ostensibly to steal the pension funds in Bona Life.

The company further made headlines on the reported matters to DCEC the directors of CMB Tim Marsland who is in jail in South Africa and Rapula Okaile awaiting trial with others.

Bona Life Directors including Sikalesele-Vaka have been providing strategic direction, create a conducive environment for management to thrive and monitor the performance of the company.

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.