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Kerekang implicates PSP in NPF tale

In February 2018, cabinet chaired by former President Ian Khama discussed the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) case and resolved that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) return the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money it had received to buy weapons, according to Kenneth Kerekang, one of the accused persons in the NPF money laundering case.

He said Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi was further instructed to meet with key government officials behind the transaction and put in place a process for the DIS to return funds to the Ministry of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Energy through the NPF.  “Indeed, a meeting was held in which Isaac Kgosi, as head of the DIS then; Dr Obulukile Obakeng Acting PS of the Ministry of Minerals with some key executives and officials from the ministry of Finance were in attendance,” he said.

“In opening the meeting, Morupisi acknowledged that, ‘cabinet knows there was no money laundering involved with the NPF/DIS P250m transaction, however, we will continue to pursue the matter before the courts in order to build public confidence. Things could have been done neater.’ “ But Morupisi is adamant that Kerekang’s version of events is untrue and misleading, “he knows very well that he is lying. I have never been in a meeting attended by him (Kerekang) and Kgosi, it is all lies,” he said.

Kerekang stated that, in Morupisi’s view, the P250m “loan” didn’t follow the proper procedure. He alleges that, it was at this point that they angered Kgosi that he wished to meet with the person who claims that the money the DIS got from the NPF was a loan.  According to Kerekang, Kgosi made it known to the panel that at no point in his discussions with the ministry of minerals was he ever given an impression that the money they received was a loan, explaining that to his knowledge the transaction was a straight government department to department funding assistance.  

“At that point then Acting PS in the ministry of minerals Dr Obakeng asked me to clarify the details behind the funding assistance because I was the one behind it as the director of the department of Energy.  Again, this angered Kgosi and he told the panel that he did not deal with me in getting funding assistance, and  a variation to pay for arms equipment from the original fuel storage construction, but instead Dr Obakeng.”


Kgosi is said to have went on and expressed disappointment at Dr Obakeng for denying the things which they agreed upon as government officials, and warned him to stop lying to everyone that cared to listen to his  ‘nonsense’. “At this stage Morupisi stepped in to calm the situation and asked for a productive meeting.  He further informed the meeting attendants that cabinet has taken a decision that the DIS will refund the P250m from its allocated budget of the new financial year of 1 April 2018. 

Another argument in the meeting erupted on whether the amount was P250m or P230m.  Kgosi insisted that he requested P250m, and he got only P230m.  He further was angry that he has only utilized P118m because the balance has been frozen by the ‘overzealous DCEC and FIA officials’.  The meeting was adjourned, with Kgosi and Obakeng asked to action the decision of cabinet with the assistance of the Ministry of Finance,” Kerekang narrated.

“All these act up in front me, a first accused in the criminal case before the Broadhurst Magistrate court.  To me this was the highest level of arrogance and complete lack of respect in my being… You invite me to a meeting where you say there was no wrongdoing, but you then say in front of my face that you are prosecuting me for PR purposes! How arrogant is that? I felt so insulted.  And that has been the story of my principals ever since.  One lie after the other, Dr Obakeng and the ministry have kept on denying many things, which he should have taken responsibility of.”

“And lately, after spending a year deciding on what to charge me with, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) comes to insult me for the second time.  They say I lied to Kgosi. Come on, I lie to a full head of Intelligence to go buy arms and spy equipment? Let’s get serious.  How do these arms benefit me, and my wife and children?  The government of Botswana keeps insulting me.  I may be quiet but I am certainly not stupid.  That is why I said that these people use people like condoms.  You are only good for their objectives, thereafter they dump you,” Kerekang said, adding that there were many words to describe the government’s blunt disregard of his rights:  Callous, Appalling and Cruel.

Here’s another possibility which my lawyers will attend to later: criminal — liable to prosecution and, if found guilty, I hope prison time for them.Documents in possession of the WeekendPost show desperate acts of the ministry and the DIS to sanitize the transaction after the alleged meeting chaired by Morupisi.  In the correspondence, the ministry of minerals represented by Dr Obakeng requests for information from the DIS on the P250m facility and Khulaco; DIS responds also seeking further clarity on amounts, whether it was P230m or P250m; Dr Obakeng further writes to the Attorney General asking for legal representation, as he felt he was on duty when he approved and varied use of the P250m by the DIS to buy drones, and spy equipment.  

Kerekang questions why it is so stupid for the DCEC and DPP to think he was pursuing a private and personal matter when the DIS dealt with him regarding funding, but for Dr Obakeng it should be seen as if he was on duty and therefore he needs legal representation by the Attorney General?  “That is foolishness we see in this NPF case,” charges Kerekang. At one of the press conferences by the Minister of Minerals Eric Molale, he confirmed that the DIS has returned the P118m or so it used to purchase equipment from Israel to the ministry, as per the instruction of cabinet.  

“The balance of monies remain frozen with the banks.  It then begs the question, why is a government department returning money to another government department that claimed it was laundered, and has disappeared?  Related to this, Dignia Systems of Israel is suing government the balance of the money paid to it by Khulaco, represented by Bakang Seretse and Botho Leburu, who has since been discharged from the criminal case before the Broadhurst magistrate court.”  

“Dignia case is accompanied with documents of a contract and evidence of delivery.  Furthermore, Dignia say they only got to know of Khulaco through the Office of the President, thereby quashing any conspiracy with the accused.  Furthermore, they say they have had dealings with government for over 6 years, separate from the accused.  They also say proper international banking clearance was done in receiving their contract money, dispelling the myth of money laundering.”

Kerekang further claimed that he is withholding further information which he said is the privilege for his lawyers, and has instead asked the public to be patient as a lot will be revealed in court.  In partying he said, “I appear quiet but I am not stupid.  Neither am I going to be used cheaply.  I was a director at the Ministry of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Energy Security for many years.  I will not go down easily for cheap agendas.  Lets say I know a lot.  And let’s leave it there for now.” Asked about the allegations of the said meeting, Morupisi said, “That’s a blue lie. They are lying.”

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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