Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi who is currently on suspension on alleged corruption and abuse of office charges, will leave his office at the end of February.
Elias Magosi, who has been holding the fort on acting basis is expected to assume PSP responsibilities on permanent basis, sources close to the development have confirmed. President Mokgweetsi Masisi suspended Morupisi in September 2019, the day after the latter made his first appearance in court. Last year saw many prominent government officials face the wrath of the law. Morupisi together with his wife Pinny Morupisi were among the scalps, with the couple accused conjointly with common interest in corruption, abuse of office, receiving bribery and money laundering.
Despite his immediate suspension that was embraced by many including unions who regarded Morupisi as an “enemy”, he remained on full salary pay. His multiple court appearances bore no fruit, so much so that his attorneys accused the government and The Directorate on Public Prosecutions (DPP) together with The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) of rushing to court on half-baked cases, a trend which saw many other high profiled cases slog before the courts.
Morupisi commenced his public service as Assistant Animal Production Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture in 1982, rising through the ranks to the head of the civil service. In 2011, Morupisi was appointed Director of Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), before assuming the PSP post in 2014. The suspended PSP became the public face of the divisions between the new administration and former President, Lt Gen Ian Khama.
Morupisi also took Khama head-on at one point when he revealed that government had bent backwards on many occasions and even broken the law to accommodate the former President’s post-retirement requests. This was revealed at a time when the feud between the former President and the current administration had taken its toll. As Morupisi leaves office, Magosi will now be elevated as substantive head of civil service.
It is believed that, Magosi was being groomed to succeed Morupisi. Magosi was appointed to the newly created Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) following Masisi’s ascendance to the throne. Magosi who has also acted as PSP at the Ministry of Transport and Communications joined the Office of the President in April 2019, he also served as Director, Human Resources and Administration at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat. Morupisi declined to comment when reached for comment on Thursday.
MORUPISI’S CORRUPTION CHARGES
Morupisi faces three counts relating to his involvement in the misuse of the P500 million from the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF). He is accused of administering BPOF funds as a private equity manager and in the process procuring valuable consideration for himself and his wife. He is further accused of accepting bribery contrary to Section 26 of Corruption and Economic Crime Act.
The suspended PSP is accused of acting together with his wife in her personal capacity and as the Director of R7 Group, to receive valuable consideration being a Toyota Land Cruiser for himself and his wife’s company. It is alleged that Capital Management Botswana (CMB) Directors, through a web of companies and transactions allegedly bought and facilitated the Morupisis’ receipt of the vehicle. Allegedly BPOPF was to recover the alleged misused funds.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.