The three nominees put forward by the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) for Letshego Holdings’ board, prevailed with votes in favour of more than 90%, as the microlenders’ Annual General Meeting ushered in a new frontline on Thursday.
Voting results issued to the Botswana Stock Exchange this evening indicate that the BPOPF’s nominees, unionist Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, chartered accountant Chris Mokgware and prominent public finance professional, Emmanuel Botlhale, all sailed through to the board at the AGM.
Malawian banking tycoon and First Capital Bank Botswana chair, Hitesh Anadkat, who holds 2.9% equity in Letshego, saw one of his nominees, Busisa Moyo rejected by shareholders, while the other, Jayaraman Ramesh, received 56.55% of shareholders’ votes in favour and 42.25% against.
Allan Gray, an asset manager holding 1.2% equity in Letshego on behalf of shareholders, saw the majority of shareholders vote against the three nominees it had put forward for the board. Allan Gray had originally put forward four nominees, but one pulled out before the AGM.
Philip Odera, a Kenyan banking and finance veteran, was elected board chair, keeping the interim position he assumed earlier this week after the previous chairman, Enos Banda resigned on the eve of the AGM.
Letshego’s board shake up comes after major shareholders clashed over the group’s strategic direction, with concerns from the pension fund that the previous board had presided over a loss in value over the years due to imprudent expansion decisions.
Letshego is a homegrown microlender present in 10 African countries and boasting assets in excess of P16 billion. BIHL Ltd, a founding shareholder and the key driver of strategy at Letshego, holds 28.1% equity, while the BPOPF recently hiked its stake to nearly 35%.