Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi is facing possible assault charges after police in Palapye were called to investigate complaints by a family in his home village of Malaka in the Lerala/Maunatala constituency.
Morupisi is alleged to have had an altercation that resulted in a physical confrontation with 66 year old Mpho Wanki at her yard on 29 August.
Relating the alleged ordeal, Wanki said that the misunderstanding started after the PSP yelled out at his mother who was just out of earshot heading to a police farewell ceremony, saying she should come back so that he could give her something.
“She refused because she felt belittled at the way her son was yelling at her. That is when I interjected and pleaded with Carter’s mother to go back and find out what her son wanted,” said Wanki.
The aggrieved sexagenarian said Morupisi then asked who the busybody poking her nose on his conversation with his mother was.
“I told him that it was me. He proceeded to enter my yard, literally charging at me. He was shouting at me threatening to beat me up. He accused me of interfering while he was speaking to his mother. He poked me several times on the forehead and pushing me about. I had to also push him away. It was then that my younger brother intervened and warned Morupisi that should he lay a hand on me, he would beat him,” said Wanki.
She said Morupisi then pointed a finger at her and uttered unpalatable words.
“I told him that we were related but he hurled some of the filthiest insults and racial slurs at me unbecoming of a person younger than me and who also holds an esteemed public office. He told me that he doesn’t know me because I’m a Mosarwa,” said Wanki. She told the Sunday Standard that she has since laid a complaint with the police.
“Police from Palapye have since taken statements from me and promised that they will contact me in due course,” she said.
Wanki called on Morupisi to apologise because she wants the whole thing resolved amicably.
“He accused me of squandering his mother’s old age pension, which is not true. It is my family that is literally taking care of the old woman because he seems to have neglected her,” she said.
Wanki said her family fell out with Morupisi after the Permanent Secretary’s wife lost in the 2014 general elections.
“His wife contested for a council seat and lost. Morupisi then started accusing us of de-campaigning his wife. He even claimed that we told villagers not to vote her claiming that she is arrogant,” said Wanki.
Wanki’s neighbour Tebatso Ratholo said she was shocked at Morupisi’s behaviour. “I didn’t expect that from a person of his calibre. If he can’t respect himself at least he should respect the office that he occupies,” she said.
Mpho Wanki’s husband, Bapaletswe Wanki said “I don’t think I would be speaking to you now had Morupisi done what he did to my wife in my presence. The devil would have had the better of me because I have never in my life laid my hand on her,” he said. Bapaletswe said he had hoped that his wife and Morupisi would have resolved their differences amicably by now since they are relatives.
“What he did still hurts my family. We want the law to protect us. Even if he holds a high position, he should respect my yard. If I were present I would have given him something to always remind him of the day he put his head into a leopard’s mouth because ga e latelwe mosemeng,” Bapaletswe warned.
In a brief interview with Sunday Standard, officer commandeering in Serowe senior superintendent Paul Molapisi said “I heard about the rumour but the report has not yet reached my office.”
When contacted for comment on Friday, Morupisi said that he was neither aware of the incident or his alleged physical confrontation with Mpho Wanki.
“I am not aware of investigations by the police against me or any incident of assault. I think some people are out to drag my name into the mud if not waging a smear campaign against me,” he said.
However, Councilor for the area, Charles Mabjweng said the Wanki family has since reported the incident to him.
“Morupisi should back off from my ward. He is a son of this village but he does not respect me and the people in my ward. I want President Ian Khama to take action against him for what he is reported to have done just like Khama did with the suspended the judges,” said Mabjweng.
The councillor added that Morupisi should “mind his business at the Office of the President and refrain from harassing and bullying resident of Malaka. The President has to stop Morupisi in his tracks; he can’t be going around bullying ordinary people as he pleases,” said Mabjweng.