Friday, December 4, 2020

DCEC probes Morupisi

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is to launch investigations into Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi’s alleged corrupt relationship with Capital Management Botswana (CMB) Capital which is currently embroiled in half a billion pula legal battle with the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF).

The BPOPF on Thursday at a meeting held at the Cresta lodge resolved to report Morupisi who is the fund’s manager to the DCEC following allegations that he has a “beneficial interest through CEO Okaile Rapula in CMB.”

The allegations of Morupisi’s corrupt relationship with CMB Capital came to light in a letter to BPOPF by former Kgori Capital Managing Director, Bakang Seretse which stated:   “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.”

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.”

Morupisi has denied having any interest in CMB Capital and refused to recuse himself from the BPOPF meeting on Thursday that resolved to report him to the DECEC.

Morupisi is also refusing to step down as Chairperson of BPOPF pending the outcome of investigations against him. As the senior most and most powerful civil servant, Morupisi has the backing of his juniors from the government enclave who are also serving on the BPOPF board. The BPOPF board has 21 members; nine from employer (government), nine from employees (unions), one pensioner, one independent and the principal officer.

The Thursday meeting revealed how the deep division in the BPOPF board has compromised its independence. This became apparent when the board passed a resolution to brief the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale on the operations of BPOPF. Morupisi is believed to be Molale’s side kick and together with another powerful ally, Director of Public Service Management Ruth Maphorisa, the trio is believed to have a stranglehold on the country’s civil service.

The union is however understood to be unhappy with the decision to “brief” Molale on the operations of the BPOPF arguing that Molale is not part of the fund’s structure and the resolution violates the independence of BOPOF.

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