Bona Life emerges from turmoil

Andrew Maramwidze - BG reporter
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Bona Life emerges from turmoil

The Non-bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) has lifted the temporary closure on Bona Life. Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) told media that a lot of what has been troubling the company in 2018 has been resolved.“We have gone through a year of turmoil and that has failed to stop us,” said Sikalesele-Vaka, adding that the company has attended to the bulk of issues that lead to the company being dysfunctional.

Last July, the non-bank financial institutions regulator temporarily shutdown Bona Life due to shareholder fights. The development lead to Bona Life accounts being closed and banned from advertising and selling new insurance products to the public, threatening the life of the company.

With aspiration to become a leading financial institution, Bona Life’s misery started in October 2017 when Capital Management Botswana (CMB) and Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) fought over shares. The two own 40 percent shares in Bona Life through an investment vehicle named Botswana Opportunity Partnership (BOP), this lead to a trail of developments such as relationship breakdown between CEO and CMB.

In addition, Bona Life board could not quorate following the dispute. The current status is that CMB has been expelled from BOP, resolving the ownership dispute and CMB will no longer be a shareholder in Bona Life after its liquidation. Meanwhile, Bona Life has embarked on a restructuring of its portifolio which is expected to be concluded by March and Sikalesele-Vaka remains optimistic and intends to list the company on the local bourse.“Listing has always been a primary thing for us to achieve,” said Sikalesele-Vaka.Bona Life is the first local citizen owned insurance company and according to Sikalesele-Vaka the company was this year facing a sophisticated coup attempt by CMB.

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