The saying 'when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers' has come to play in the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) saga.
Employees of the troubled asset manager have not been paid for several months now. On March 9 at the High Court, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) faced off against CMB, in a suit in which the regulator wanted to place the asset manager under statutory management.
NBFIRA actions were prompted by complaints by the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), in its attempts to recover more than P400 million at one time under CMB’s management. Citizen-owned insurer, Bona Life also reported CMB to NBFIRA over P133 million in assets under management. The pension fund and the insurer are unhappy about the manner in which the funds were managed. For its part, CMB said BPOPF has no valid claim to the funds in dispute and Bona Life is attempting to blame the asset manager for its own alleged mismanagement.
CMB also said NBFIRA had no grounds to place it under statutory management and, in any case, the proposed statutory manager, is conflicted. CMB won
Court of Appeal (CoA) ruled in favour of NBFIRA. Peter Collins was authorised to begin tracing missing pension funds. A three men CoA bench comprising Judge president Ian Kirby, Justice Walia and Justice Brand ruled recently.
According to sources, CMB has not been paying their staff for several months. “The employees were asked to keep calm and were allegedly promised employment at their sister company Fleming Asset Management. Following the loss at CoA, the employees were told that they would have to ask for their money from the statutory manager,” the source said.
“This is sad because we have been with the company through hard times and now they do this to us. We will seek legal advice on the matter,” another source lamented.
CMB chief executive officer, Rapula Okaile could not be reached for a comment. Collins would not comment on the issue, only stating that he is now in full control of CMB.