Thursday, June 20, 2024

Morupisi received “ghost money” from CMB’s Marsland

Incarcerated Capital Management Botswana (CMB) boss Tim Marsland funnelled an undisclosed amount of secret cash to suspended Permanant Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi.

This has emerged in a sworn statement by Marsland’s estranged wife which detailed how Morupisi allegedly had a beneficial interest in the liquidated Capital Management Botswana (CMB).

Trudy Suzanne Marsland who appears in the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC)’s list of key witnesses alleges in her statement that on several occasions local based CMB director Rapula Okaile was given chunks of cash in South African Rand denominations by Tim to take to Morupisi at his hotel while in South Africa.

“Tim would often ask me to count these sums before handing them over. Although I was never made aware what the money was for,” said Trudy. Morupisi is facing corruption and money laundering charges.

Trudy Marsland further states that sometime in late 2016, she became aware of a transaction relating to a vehicle, a Land Cruiser that CMB (through Tim and Okaile,) purchased by a certain gentleman who she had “always known as PSP (Permanent Secretary to the President).”

“The same PSP was at the time the Board Chairman of BPOPF (Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund). I came to know about the vehicle being bought because Tim kept talking about it,” she said.

Trudy added: “I came to know about the vehicle being bought for the PSP as a ‘thank you’ for having had an influence in CMB being awarded a further amount of money. To my knowledge the relationship between the PSP, Rapula and Tim had been going for several years already.” She also stated that “although to my knowledge most of the interaction was done via Rappel.”

She alleged that the vehicle was purchased through Manor Squad for about R630 000.00.

“After the purchase sometimes in late December 2016, I was sent by Tim to personally collect the vehicle from CMH Toyota, Albertan, and drove straight to our (mine and Tim) home,” she said. Trudy further stated that a week or so later Rapula flew into South Africa and he and Tim drove the vehicle from their home and delivered it straight to Botswana to Morupisi’s house late on a Sunday afternoon in December.

“I am aware that this vehicle had some extra features installed on it such as roll bars, cattle rallies radio and the rubberising at the request of the PSP via Rapula. I remember Tim telling me about these features, Tim complaining that the PSP was demanding too much and was never satisfied,” she said.

Trudy also stated that they had been installed by the time she picked it up from the garage, CMH Toyota. “I further state that was driven to the garage to pick it up by one Mrs Ruth Hudgson. She was at the time working at Manor Squad Services as an accounts/administration person,” she said.

Another key witness, Accountant General Emma Peloetletse who also chairs the BPOPF Finance and Investment Committee states that in line with the investment strategy, a decision was taken by the Board of BPOPF to invest in the Botswana Opportunities Fund (BOF) of CMB.

“The initial amount invested was P500 000.00 only, which was later increased to P880 00. 00.” According to Peloetletse, as part of the contract (between CMB and BPOPF) we defined the types of investments that CMB should invest in.

“it was during financial reporting calendar that it transpired that the valuation methodology adopted by CMB was suspect and not in line with the International Valuation report and eventually when they submitted the valuations, BPOPF engaged its independent valuer to speed up the process, it is during this engagement that we discovered most breaches to the contract agreement between BPOPF and CMB,” she said.

At the that time, Peloetletse said, CMB was not forthcoming with the agreeable reports they submitted a request for a drawdown of another new project which were obviously not released on account of not satisfying the requirements of the agreed contract.

“Subsequent to CMB not furnishing us with the reports and in view of the outcome of our investigation (which indicated serious breaches), BPOPF through its Executive Office, wrote to CMB indicating the areas of breaches and notified them of our decision to remove them as General Partner in the BOP,” said Peloetletse.

She said that it was upon receipt of the CMB letter that they claimed that they had already sold the BPOPF stake in the partnership and the advisory Board where “we are represented is dissolved.”

She said the CMB has since paid the BPOPF an amount of P50 million purporting to be the final settlement of the BPOPF stake the amount which has been forwarded to the liquidator.

“To date BPOPF amount that CMB has drawn down is in the region of P477.5 million for various projects (investments). If accept P50 million as our final settlement, it basically means the Fund has lost P427.5 million,” said Peloetletse.

She said that is why in order to recover the assets of BPOPF they had to make an urgent application to Court, to restrain CMB from further transactions. “Unfortunately our request was thrown out by the Court and were directed to follow the normal court process,” she said.


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