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Vaka dismisses allegations against Bona Life

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 Bona Life Chief Executive Officer, Regina Sikalesele-Vaka has dismissed all allegations against Bona Life over the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) multi-million Pula funds which are currently under investigation by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). CMB has filed a P650 million suit against Sikalesele-Vaka. CMB’s lawyers, Kanjabanga & Associates, are demanding P650 million from the Bona Life CEO in her personal capacity, which they say is damages for alleged conduct in the running of the insurer.

CMB and BPOPF are partners in Botswana Opportunities Fund (BOP), which in turn holds 40 percent of Bona Life. CMB separately holds another 25 percent, while Sikalesele-Vaka holds 25 percent. Sikalesele-Vaka revealed on Thursday that the letter written by CMB Directors to the CEO of Bona Life is defamatory and intended to cause permanent damage to the reputation of the CEO and Bona Life Brand. “This is addressed through appropriate legal channels. The claim for P650 million is invalid, made in bad faith and cannot be sustained in any court of law.

The authors of the letter does not have authority to represent CMB which is under statutory management and can only be represented by the statutory manager,” said Vaka. She explained that the authors of the letter, Rapula Okaile who is also a director of Bona Life is not a shareholder of Bona Life so he does not have a claim against the CEO. Currently, Bona Life is in a public dispute with BPOPF (its partner in BOP) over the management and ownership of the BOP. The BPOPF released approximately P477 million pensioner funds to be managed by CMB, which cannot be fully accounted for. After making some investments in different companies including Bona Life, CMB sold the BOP to its holding company CMA for P50 million and dismissed the BPOPF from the BOP.

Vaka said Bona Life reported CMB to Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) because Bona Life was receiving inconsistent reports on its investments with CMB and it became aware of a petition to liquidate CMB Fund 1, a subsidiary of CMB which holds assets in which Bona Life has an interest and that CMB was under investigation by the DCEC for possible criminal offenses. Bona Life has reported its challenges to NBFIRA to enable it to perform its role of protecting the clients of Bona Life in accordance with the law. Currently, Bona Life has some investments made through CMB, which is currently under statutory management and is being investigated by the DCEC, 84 percent of the funds are held in Bona Life and invested in secure Botswana government bonds and fixed instruments.

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Cell City rewards customers

Keikantse Lesemela

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Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.

In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.

All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.

“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.

“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.

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Smecha chillie hits the shelves

Keikantse Lesemela

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For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.

She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.

She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae

The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.

She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.

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