As the year slowly unfolds, heads are expected to roll within the government enclave as President Mokgweetsi Masisi is prepared to phase out more top civil servants from their duties and replace them with his new brigade.
The cleansing started with the exit of Ruth Maphorisa, the former Director of the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), who was recently transferred to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, when she received the news of her exit from the civil service. At the end of February this year, suspended Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi will also exit the public service, at the end of his contract.
Three more are reportedly serving their last month as the President has no interest in renewing their contracts, sources at Government Enclave revealed. Sources reveal that, the cleansing that is expected to take place is a shrewd political move by Masisi to close his predecessor, Lt Gen Ian Khama’s administration chapter, and have them replaced with new faces loyal to him. Masisi and Khama have been at loggerheads since the former assumed his seat in 2018, with the feud still continuing to date.
According to the reports, amongst those who are exiting government enclave at the end of their contracts are; Boipolelo Khumomatlhare and Kebonye Moepeng. Khumomatlhare is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), while Moepeng holds the same position at the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs. There are other names that are also expected to be tittering on the cliff and might also leave the government offices.
While the developments are still sketchy on the aforementioned, reliable sources have informed this publication that there is more than what meets the eye regarding the imminent departure of the duo. It is said that Masisi believes their relationship with former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi and former President Ian Khama, is the major reason why they will be ejected.
Matlhare and Moepeng are said to have been in close contact with Carter Morupisi during his suspension, something that reportedly did not sit well with the President. In the past, Masisi is said to have made it clear to the PSP not to extend contracts of senior public officials who are in the afternoons of their lives. Masisi’s decision to follow the Public Service Act to the letter will affect mostly the defence and security fraternity as a number of high ranking officials are expected to leave their offices.
Among high ranking public service officials that are likely to go is; the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) commander, Lt Gen Placid Segokgo and the Botswana Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, who will be forced to leave the public service at the mandatory retirement age of 55 and 60 years. Masisi believes the two are cogwheels in his reign and therefore will have to put in his trusted lieutenants, sources say.
Masisi, according to informants has made it known to Morupisi that whatever the qualification or skills one possesses the Public Service Act should be followed to the letter. This is intended to give other upcoming officers a chance to rise through the leadership ladder. “It is clear in the Public Service Act that when you reach 60 you retire, so it is not like Masisi is imposing that. It has always been there,” Morupisi told this publication last year.â€¨â€¨
It is said even to those with needed skills will not be renewed unlike in the past system. “However they could only be roped in as consultants to assist the government,” explains a highly placed source within the government. Transfers of senior officials will also be minimal as the inter-ministerial movements and parastatals will mostly be dominated by more junior officers. “President argues as to what new intellect or thinking they will bring if they are moved across institutions,” added a source
A month ago, Ruth Maphorisa was fired mysteriously barely a month after being transferred from the Ministry of Health and Wellness to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development as Permanent Secretary. Her contract was terminated upon her return from a short course in the United States.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.