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DCEC clears Morupisi

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic crime (DCEC) has stumbled on their endeavour to investigate Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi for possible corruption in relation to shady dealings at Capital Management Botswana (CMB).

At some point it has become public knowledge that Morupisi was on DCEC radar and that the corruption busting agency was investigating the PSP calling on the Secretary to cabinet to account for his multimillion pula properties that were said to be in Durban, South Africa.
His wife Pinny Morupisi’s double van land cruiser was also confiscated during the shaking off by the DCEC but later released.

The came after the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) reported him (Morupisi) to DCEC for investigation following a resolution by the Board. Former Kgori Capital Managing Director Bakang Seretse had made a statement that Morupisi had beneficial interest in CMB, which was an Asset Management company to BPOPF where Morupisi was Chairman at the time.

However when contacted to make confirmation as to whether they have started investigating Morupisi which could later lead to his prosecution, DCEC denied investigating him while clearing him from the corruption busting agency radar.  “I've consulted with the Director General (Operations) and there are no ongoing investigations on PSP Carter Morupisi,” the DCEC Spokesperson Phakamile Kraai told Weekend Post in a short e-mail communication this week.

However Kraai would not be drawn into other inquiries instead overlooking them in the response which included but not limited to whether or if DCEC has not started investigating Morupisi and if that could not be seen as a dent on the integrity of DCEC as it could be perceived to be not acting on eliminating corruption as the BPOPF reported the matter to them. The corruption busting mouthpiece also would not comment on whether that state of affairs would not make Batswana to lose confidence in DCEC as a toothless and ineffective oversight organisation.

In addition he did not attempt to react to whether the agency is not worried by talks doing rounds that DCEC is now used to settle political scores and is selective in that those close to power are seen to be not touched. Weekend Post has gathered that it was becoming evidently clear that the DCEC investigations against Morupisi were likely to reach a breakdown.

Reports indicate that four of the nine person task team tasked with Morupisi investigations resigned because they feared for their lives and that this followed an attempt on the life of the intelligence lead investigator and assassination plots against his colleagues by the shadow intelligence service allegedly working with some powerful DCEC insiders. According to newspaper reports, the task team has also withdrawn its informants from the operation because “the ground was getting too hot.”

When Weekend Post further solicited a comment from PSP Morupisi, he would not comment. “I have gone through your questionnaire and taken a decision not to comment on the matter,” he told this publication in a separate e-mail communication.  Indications suggest that the BPOPF decision had alleged that the PSP may be having a beneficial interest through Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Okaile Rapula in CMB and that this may breed a potential conflict of interest.

It is understood that Okaile was Chairperson of BPOPF and Morupisi’s Executive assistant at the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) before he joined CMB. Morupisi took over the BPOPF chair after Okaile stepped down join CMB. The BPOPF partnership with CMB was concluded under Morupisi’s watch as Chairperson.

BPOPF Chief Executive Officer, Boitumelo Molefhe has also levelled claims against Morupisi’s dubious relationship with CMB capital in a scathing letter previously to the Chairperson of the BPOPF Human Resources and Remuneration Committee Topias Marenga. It is understood that Molefhe then accused the PSP of colluding with CMB Capital in an endeavour to get her expelled from her position as the head of BPOPF Secretariat. She wrote in the letter: “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.”

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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