The trail of the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) missing P 200 million has gone cold, safe for a few hundred thousand pula that lead to Permanent Secretary to the President and BPOPF Chairperson Carter Morupisi’s wife ÔÇô Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.
Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime investigating officers who are chasing the trail of the BPOPF funds managed by Capital Management Botswana (CMB) have only been able to track down P 2, 306,627.10 of the total P 447 million invested by CMB on behalf of BPOPF.
The DCEC sleuths could only trace slightly over P200 million transactions from the P447 million leaving the balance unaccounted for.
From the more than P200 million that has not been accounted for slightly more than R 600 000 was spent on a Gold Land Cruiser for Morupisi’s wife, Pinny. The Court of Appeal this week ruled that the disappearance of BPOPF millions should be considered a possible financial crime, rather than a purely contractual dispute. CMB Statutory Manager and former High Court Judge, Peter Collins on the other hand summerised his preliminary report with the warning that: “my suspicion is raised concerning criminal activity on a massive scale which eclipses isolated breaches of financial laws.”
Investigations have revealed that CMB conducted its business through a complex web of associated companies, one of which was used to buy the diesel double cab pickup for Morupisi’s wife.
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that the Land Cruiser was bought for R630,388.99 from CMH Toyota in Alberton through a CMB related company called Manor Squad. One of three Manor Squad directors is CMB Chief Executive Officer, Rapula Okaile. The other directors are Robert Neill and Scott Reardon Macintyre of South Africa. The new Land Cruiser which was first registered by the garage in South Africa on 15th May 2017 was delivered to the Manor Squad business premises at 16 Aster Street, Brackenhurst, Alberton South Africa. It was later driven to Botswana by CMB Chief Executive Officer Rapula Okaile and months later registered under a R 7 Group a company owned by Morupisi’s wife with the registration number B 587 BEW.
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that P36,5 million from the BPOPF P447 million was transferred to Manor Squad. Following the investigation by DCEC, a agreement between Morupisi’s wife and CMB turned up in which Pinny Morupisi detailed how she was going to pay back the money spent by CMB to buy her the Land Cruiser. Carter Morupisi has signed as a witness in the agreement. DCEC investigators have also turned up bank transfer document from Morupisi’s account to CMB allegedly being the first instalment as per the agreement.
Morupisi’s relationship with Okaile
The DCEC launched an investigation against Morupisi following a report by the BPOPF that the PSP who was also BPOPF chairman may be having an interest in CMB. This was after a whistle blower, former Kgori Capital Managing Director Bakang Seretse wrote a letter to BPOPF alleging that “We have been advised by (name withheld) that that chairman of the Fund has a beneficial interest through CEO Okaile Rapula in CMB and that he has held several meetings with them. While we cannot independently vouch for this, we thought it was important to bring it to your attention to avoid issues of potential conflict of interest.” Okaile was Chairperson of BPOPF and Morupisi’s Executive assistant at the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) before he joined CMB. Morupisi took over the BPOPF chair after Okaile stepped down join CMB. The BPOPF partnership with CMB was concluded under Morupisi’s watch as Chairperson.
Allegations of Morupisi’s questionable relationship with CMB capital have also been made by BPOPF Chief Executive Officer, Boitumelo Molefhe. In a letter to the Chairperson of the BPOPF Human Resources and Remuneration Committee Topias Marenga late last year, Molefhe accused Morupisi of colluding with CMB Capital to expel her from BPOPF. She wrote: Further, I have been made aware of meetings between the Chairman (Morupisi) and CMB Capital officers in which my dismissal was discussed. Apparently the meetings emanate from concerns regarding the current investigations related to CMB Capital.”
The DCEC investigations against Morupisi are however likely to collapse after four of the nine person task team assigned to the investigation resigned en masse. The task team has all but collapsed after four key members resigned because they feared for their lives. This followed an attempt on the life of the intelligence lead investigator (name withheld) and assassination plots against his colleagues by the shadow intelligence service allegedly working with some powerful DCEC insiders.
The task team has also withdrawn its informants from the operation because “the ground was getting too hot”, Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.
The crippling setback in the investigation which involved the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund, BONA Life, Botswana Opportunity Partnership (BOP), Capital Management Botswana (CMB) and Permanent Secretary to the President, involving hundreds of millions of Pula suggests that the President Mokgweetsi Masisi administration is grappling with a powerful renegade intelligence service which has the support of some influential civil servants.
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