Connect with us
Advertisement

Okaile races for support in CMB P500 million marathon case

Capital Management Botswana (CMB) directors, Rapula Okaile and his South African based counterpart, Tim Marsland are racing to gather supporting documents from partners to nullify money laundering allegations relating to a P500 million worth deal which they struck with Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) sometime in 2014.

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had recently given signal of intent to charge the two directors with money laundering charges only to withdraw them at the time of calling as they were said to be gathering more evidence against the CMB directors. This has pushed Okaile and Marsland to solicit supporting documents from entities were they purportedly invested on behalf of BOP or BPOPF.

This week the DPP wrote to Marsland and Okaile’s lawyers’ sharing that they have received a docket containing allegations and evidence of crimes having been committed by the CMB directors. “However currently we are working on the premise and basis of what the investigators gathered. Please note that your client Timothy Marsland had not provide the Investigator his side of the story…”

So far the CMB directors have confirmatory affidavits from three companies where they made investments including Kawena and Agile. “We are still receiving more confirmatory affidavits,” said Rapula Okaile of CMB. Okaile told this publication that all the people asked to investigate should have taken time to ascertain if indeed investments have been made with the said entities. He said he is shocked that “since they are aware that CMB made investments on behalf of BOP, they now want to claim to doubt the value of transactions they do not understand.”

The CMB director decried that they were never given audience when a report by the statutory manager was prepared about them. “After checking if we have made these investments, they should have come back to us so that we explain the investments to them.”  Meanwhile Okaile told this publication that they still contesting the CMB liquidation because they are of the view that it is not necessary and is being done in bad faith.

Collins calls out Dos Santos of KAWENA

On 12 February 2018, the Statutory Manager of CMB, Peter Collins called out Mr Clementino I. Dos Santos Jnr who is the Managing Director of Kawena Distributors, a company that CMB had purchased a stake of 60% on behalf of Botswana Opportunities Partnership (BOP). In his letter Collins indicated “According to information in my possession CMB on behalf of BOP invested an amount of P150 000 000 in Kawena Holdings…”

Collins stated that he was required to investigate CMB’s role in the acquisition and management of all assets acquired by CMB on behalf of BOP. “In terms of the Kawena acquisition, BOP was, apparently, to acquire 72 ordinary shares (60% of the share capital) as a passive investor, while you, in your personal capacity, were the active participant holding the remaining 40% shareholding stake in the company.

According a letter seen by this reporter Collins says the “Call Option Agreement” between Kawena and Dos Santos “makes no sense at all”. Collins further requests a meeting with Dos Santos where, “I will be raising the issue of a general shortage of some BWP150 000 000 which appears to have been diverted, without any value in return, by CMB to Sherewa and/or KawenaSA and/or yourself, thereby fraudulently depriving BOP and the Botswana pensioners it represents.” CMB problems with its then partner BPOPF escalated because of the animosity at Bona Life, where both Okaile and Marsland were accused of illegally siphoning money from the company.

BONA LIFE conflict

The chairman of Bona Life, Martin Letsweletse Dingake recently stated that challenges at the company were caused by Shareholder battle after one of the Shareholders Capital Management Botswana (Pty) Ltd – in liquidation or CMB invested Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) monies in Bona Life through the Botswana Opportunities Partnership (BOP).

He wrote that the Directors of Capital Management Botswana (CMB), Tim Marsland and Rapula Okaile diverted funds from the BOP through a complex web of companies and attempted to steal the entire BOP from the BPOPF. At the same time, the Directors stole funds from Bona Life and also attempted to take over Bona Life from the other Shareholders and expel the Founding CEO of the company Ms Regina Vaka.

“Both attempts to steal the BOP and Bona Life were successfully stopped through a series of court cases and the timely intervention of the Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), DCEC, Financial Intelligence Act (FIA) and various other state entities.” CMB is currently under final liquidation and will be permanently removed as Shareholder of Bona Life and from the Botswana financial services market. Similarly the Directors will never operate in this market again.

Continue Reading

News

Botswana still weighing in on Maseko’s assassination

27th January 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.

In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.

“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.

“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.

However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”

Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.

“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.

Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.

Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.

Continue Reading

News

Kopong Murder: Accused interferes with witnesses again!

27th January 2023

State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.

The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.

Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.

“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.

However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.

Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.

“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.

While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.

He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.

According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.

“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.

Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.

“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.

He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.

“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.

He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.

Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.

Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month

Continue Reading

News

Ngamiland Cattle Farmers Gain Green Zone Revenue

27th January 2023

Cattle farmers from Eretsha and Habu in the Ngamiland district, supported by the Community Based Trade (CBT) project, recently generated over P300 000.00 for sales of 42 cattle to the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun. This milestone was achieved through support from various stakeholders in conservation, commodity-based trade and the government, in collaboration with farmers. Ordinarily, these farmers would not have made this direct sale since the area is a designated Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Red Zone.

Traditional livestock farming contributes toward livelihoods and formal employment in the North-West District (Ngamiland) of Botswana. However, primarily due to the increase in FMD outbreaks over the past two decades and predation by wildlife, the viability of livestock agriculture as a source of income has declined in the region. This has led to a greater risk of poverty and food insecurity. Access across the Okavango River (prior to the construction of a bridge) restricted access for farmers in Eretsha. This lack of access hampered sales of cattle beyond Shakawe, further discouraging farmers from investing in proper livestock management practices. This resulted in negative environmental impacts, poor livestock health and productivity.

To address this challenge, farmers are working with a consortium led by Conservation International (CI), with funding secured from the European Union (EU) to pilot a CBT beef project. The project focuses on supporting and enabling communal farmers to comply with standards and regulations that will improve their chances to access markets. An opportunity to earn higher income from cattle sales could incentivize the adoption of restorative rangelands management practices by farmers.

These collaborative efforts being piloted in Habu and Eretsha villages also include the Pro-Nature Enterprises Project for the People of Southern Africa, funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Le Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial (FFEM). This complementary funding from AFD and FFEM supports the implementation of the Herding4Health (H4H) model and Rangeland Stewardship Agreements across four rangeland sites in Southern Africa, including Habu and Eretsha, to incentivize best practices that could offer sustainability in the long term for livelihoods, conservation and human-wildlife coexistence.

“We spend a lot of money getting our cattle to Makalamabedi quarantine site, the herder spends on average two months taking care of the cattle before they are taken into quarantine – that needs money. All these costs lead to us getting less money from BMC,” said one of the farmers in the programme, Mr Monnaleso Mosanga.

Farmers that participate in the project agree for their cattle to be herded and kraaled communally by fulltime professional herders (eco-rangers). At the core of this pilot is the use of predator-proof bomas (cattle kraals), planned grazing systems and mobile quarantine bomas (electrified enclosures) for the cattle, facilitated in support with the Department of Veterinary Services. The first successful exit from the mobile quarantine bomas in the Habu and Eretsha villages, in December 2022, saw cattle quarantined on-site and directly transported to BMC in Maun. Farmers received almost double the average sales within this region, as costs including transportation to quarantine sites, herder’s fees and other associated costs incurred before qualifying for BMC sales were no longer included.

“This pilot mobile quarantine is leveraging the techniques and protocols we are using at our current permanent quarantine sites, and we are still observing the results of the project. The outcome of this pilot will be presented to the World Organisation of Animal Health to assess its effectiveness and potentially be approved to be used elsewhere,” said Dr Odireleng Thololwane, the Principal Veterinary Officer (Maun).

Through co-financing of almost P1 billion from the Botswana government and Green Climate Fund, these interventions will be replicated, through The Ecosystem Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands project, across the country. Both projects aim to improve the economic benefits of cattle owners and multitudes of Batswana households, while contributing to land restoration and climate change efforts by the Botswana government

Continue Reading