Regina Sikalesele-Vaka, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the embattled life insurer, Bona Life, has resigned from her position as Non-Executive Director at the newly listed CA Sales with immediate effect due to ‘other commitments’.
Sikalesele-Vaka did not elaborate on what she meant by ‘other commitments’, but her company, Bona Life is currently facing uncertainty due to the ongoing battle between Capital Management Botswana (CMB) versus the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) which needs her undivided attention.
Although she did not state in explicit terms, Sikalesele-Vaka called a press briefing in which she acknowledged that Bona Life is currently having financial challenges. She said as a start up in the life insurance business, it takes between three and five years for a company to break even and be financially stable.
“Bona Life’s financial position is fluctuating,” she said. According to statements made by CMB CEO Rapula Okaile, Bona Life was said to be insolvent and in need of some P100 million cash injection to stay afloat and to even meet the statutory capital adequacy requirements by NBFIRA. Sikalesele-Vaka said that the outcome of that cash injection will depend on the resolution of pending legal issues between the BPOPF and CMB. However, she made it clear that while it is in need of funding from its shareholders, Bona Life currently has the money to finance its daily operations without fail.
Through the investment from the BOP, the BPOPF controls 40 percent shareholding in Bona Life while CMB directly owns 25 percent. Sikalesele-Vaka owns 25 percent and the rest is held in a staff trust share scheme. However, BPOPF and CMB are currently at war over the management of the BOP, an P800 million fund which was established for investment in unlisted companies.
CMB claims to have terminated BPOPF for failure to meet its request for a drawdown saying it violated its agreement as a general partner to the fund. On the other hand, BPOPF claims to have terminated CMB for non-compliance and that the relationship between CMB and BPOPF has broken down irretrievably. As a result of this ongoing debacle with BPOPF, CMB is unable to currently inject further cash into Bona Life, which is putting Sikalesele-Vaka and Bona Life in a tight corner.
The appointment of former Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Board Chairperson Regina Sikalesele-Vaka came alongside that of former Managing Director at Debswana Mining Company, Blackie Marole as Independent non-executive directors. Both Vaka and Marole have no direct shareholding in CA Sales according to the prospectus. The appointments were during the listings of CA Sales, which just like BTCL was oversubscribed, towards the end of last year.
During its Initial Public Offering (IPO), CA Sales received a total of 376 applications from the IPO which represents 146 191 572 shares from invited investors and the public.
PSG Africa Holdings is now the company’s biggest shareholders at 51 percent, followed by Export Marketing Investments, Shah, BielkorBeleggings, Rapassen 21 and Rose Bridge 21 with 10.1 percent, 2.6 percent,2 percent and 1 percent respectively. The Public now own 32.3 percent of the company issued shares.
CA Sales is the parent company of businesses that operate in Southern Africa. It operates within the FMCG industry and delivers services to blue chip manufacturers, both locally and internationally. Its service offering includes selling, merchandising, warehousing, distribution, debtor’s administration, marketing and promotions, point of sale warehousing and training.
The group has offices and facilities in all the main centers throughout Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe,