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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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BCP, AP stalemate in 7 constituencies

21st March 2023

When the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Alliance for Progressives, Botswana Labour Party (BLP), and conveners reconvene next week, the controversial issue of allocation of the seven constituencies will be the main topic of discussion, WeekendPost can reveal.

Not only that, but the additional four constituencies will also dominate the talks. The idea is to finally close the “constituency allocation phase,” which has proven to be the most difficult part of the ongoing negotiations.

Earlier this year, the two parties announced that the marathon talks would be concluded by February. Even at a media briefing last month, BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile and Publicity Secretary Dr. Mpho Pheko were optimistic that the negotiations would be concluded before the end of February.

However, it is now mid-March and the talks have yet to be concluded. What could be the reasons for the delay? This is a question that both Kekgonegile and Pheko have not responded to, as they have ignored the reporters’ inquiries. However, a senior figure within the party has confided to this publication as to what is delaying the highly anticipated negotiations.

“We are reconvening next week to finalize constituency allocations, taking into account the additional four new ones plus the outstanding seven,” he explained. It later surfaced that Gaborone Central, Gaborone North, Mogoditshane, Tswapong North, Francistown West, Tati West, and Nata Gweta are all contested by both BCP and AP. This is because the other 50 constituencies were allocated by December of last year.

The three parties have failed to find common ground for the Bosele Ward by-elections. Are these constituencies not a deal breaker for the talks? “None of the constituencies is a deal breaker,” responded a very calm BCP official.

In Bosele Ward, AP has yielded to BCP, despite most of its members disapproving the decision. On the other hand, BLP has refused, and it will face off with BCP together with Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

The decision by BLP to face off with BCP has been labelled as a false start for the talks by political observers.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

21st March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

Merapelo Mokgosi, the Assistant Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), confirmed that he will be extradited to France, where he is wanted for his crimes.

“It is true that Tayub will be extradited to France, where he has been wanted for some time,” says Mokgosi.

She explained that the fugitive was arrested by the Botswana Police in early January while attempting to enter Botswana through the Pioneer border gate. Since his arrest, he has been appearing before the Lobatse Magistrate Court to fight his release from custody and to object to his extradition to France. During his court appearance, Tayub opted for voluntary extradition.

“He opted for voluntary extradition, which the extradition Act allows,” said Mokgosi. She added that the suspect was not under duress when he chose voluntary extradition. Soon after he made this choice, the Ministry of Justice was notified, and the minister approved his extradition. Preparations are still underway to fly the wanted man to France, and once the necessary paperwork is completed between the two nations, the suspect will be extradited.

Mokgosi indicated that plans were still being made to complete the suspect’s extradition to France, and the Botswana government would pay for his flight along with his escort.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered the Botswana Prison Services (BPS) to provide the Islamic British fugitive with “halal food” while he is in custody.

In an earlier court application, Tayub had asked to be detained at a five-star hotel, as he could pay for it until the completion of his case. He also argued that he should not have to wear a prison uniform due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He was thought to have been traveling to Malawi at the time of his capture.

When delivering the order, the principal magistrate, Gofaone Morwang, said the detainee should be provided with halal daily rations with immediate effect while he is in custody. The magistrate dismissed TAYUB’s application for hotel detention and exemption from wearing a prison uniform.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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