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It’s Bona Life versus Botswana Life – BOPEU members are collateral

Publishing Date : 24 October, 2017


The differences at Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) are beyond the discussion tables, they are distant from the political gossip that is filling up our discourse, it has emerged that the BOPEU National Executive Committee is partly torn apart by the details of a P300 million loan deal that was recently sealed with BONA Life, an indigenous insurance company.

An independent company was engaged to broker the BONA Life deal and BOPEU had accepted the offer from the insurance company, documents seen by this publication indicate. The Board of Babereki Investment approved the BONA life deal on 23rd August 2017. The deal is such that BONA Life will loan Babereki Investments P300 million at an interest of 9.5 percent, with the initial injection being P100 million.

The intention at Babereki Investments was to use the money as part of loaning BOPEU employees cheap loans by reducing their interest rate from 24% to 17%. Currently Babereki Investment had a relationship with Botswana Life who had pledged P1.2 billion to BOPEU but have only delivered P50 million at an interest rate of 12 percent. Some within the Babereki Investment hierarchy had wanted to use part of the money from BONA Life to settle the Botswana Life loan and end the relationship.

However it has emerged that Martin Gabobake, who is the chairman of Babereki Ka Lorato, a subsidiary of Babereki Investments and also Vice President of BOPEU is not in support of the BONA Life offer. Andrew Motsamai, who is the Executive Chairman of Babereki Investments and also signed the BONA Life deal, together with his team were of the view that the BONA life loan deal will allow then to reduce interest rates for members of BOPEU who have in the past complained about high interest rates. They had also argued that Botswana Life indirectly competes with Babereki Ka Lorato, the subsidiary that Gabobake chairs, through its sister companies that offer the same services as Babereki Ka Lorato.

Gabobake and others had argued that BONA Life has no footprint and they were also against the use of a middle man in soliciting the deal. The middle man will get 1.5% commission for their effort. Motsamai and his team have argued that there is a lot of technology to facilitate the shortfalls of BONA Life, but Gabobake and his team are resolute that they will rather stick the higher interest rate at Botswana Life. Babereki Investments management had also considered the fact that the company, BONA Life is a local brand.

Middleman wants his commission

Meanwhile the company that was engaged to negotiate the BONA Life loan facility has written a letter through attorney Onalethata Kambai demanding payment. The grounds for the demand of payment are that BOPEU or Babereki Investment had accepted the offer in writing and indicated that they are taking it. The matter is scheduled for arbitration next week.



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