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Thursday, 18 April 2024

Magosi linked to Morupisi’s downfall


Director General of the Directorate on Intelligence and Security, Brigadier Peter Magosi is accused of being the chief architect of events that led to the downfall of the suspended Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi.

As things stand Morupisi is scheduled to officially exit the public service at the end of this month, WeekendPost has established.Morupisi was suspended from office in September 2019, after he was accused and charged with three charges of corruption – abuse of office, receiving bribery and money laundering, in relation to the alleged misappropriation of about P500 million from the Botswana Public Officers Pensioner Fund and Capital Management Botswana (CMB).

Investigations carried out by this publication indicate that Magosi played a major role in the Morupisi’s destiny. The suspended PSP has been kicking his heels at home ever since September last year. Magosi is accused of having planted evidence against Morupisi through one DIS agent (names withheld). The agent was allegedly used to implicate Morupisi in the case of BPOPF’s missing P500 million.

However, Morupisi who was BPOPF’s chair until 2018 had been mentioned several times in the matter before being charged. Morupisi was alleged to have benefited from some of the transactions in the P500 million in question. WeekendPost has it on good authority that on one rare occasion early January, one young man (names withheld) approached Morupisi on claims that he had information about him concerning the DIS and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).

The young man, according to an impeccable source, then alleged that he had been sent by Magosi and would like to show Morupisi a certain file that had formidable evidence on how DIS was plotting against him. He further alleged that the DIS together with the DCEC were going to plot a break in at his office to plant certain documents. These documents were to help manufacture enough evidence to help them in the cases against the PSP.

Moreover, it is alleged that there has been several attempts to buy off Morupisi’s closest acquaintances by the DIS to get information on Morupisi but such moves were unsuccessful. This publication has valuable evidence from a leaked conversation between Morupisi and one of his acquaintances, who had also been approached by the DIS to share ‘evidence’ against him.

Upon getting informed by the young man, Morupisi then reported the matter to the DIS, and he was informed that Magosi’s deputy, Tefo Kgotlhane will be the one handling the matter. The young man was arrested and called in for questioning in the presence of the complainant. It was then discovered prior to his arrest that the young man was known to Magosi. It was further revealed that the young man disposed some of the messages that showed that he had been in communication with the Director General.  

When reached for comment Morupisi confirmed that he had laid a complainant against the young man to the DIS of which Kgotlhane said he handed him to his supervisor, Magosi. “Deputy Kgotlhane said he had handed the matter to Magosi, stating that he will therefore ask of its progress when Magosi returns from his African Union trip with the President. I am still awaiting their feedback on the matter,” he said.  

Morupisi confirmed that somebody had come to him with claims that he had information that will help him, even though he could not divulge more details as he mentioned that the DIS has not given him feedback yet on the matter. However, it is purported that Magosi at first had denied knowing the young man or his whereabouts. Only after he (Magosi) ‘remembered’ the young lad, he then instructed that the young man be released from the DIS holding cells.

Sources within the DIS have also confirmed the arrest of the young man. DIS spokesperson, Edward Robert confirmed that the case has reached DIS office. “The PSP has indeed reported a matter to us of which I cannot reveal at this moment because investigations are still ongoing,” Robert said.The Director General has been making headlines of recent on several flawed cases he has handed over to the DCEC.

The President is alleged to have confronted him on the issues, asking him to tone down as such instances have potential of tarnishing the institution’s credibility. Magosi has on several occasions been accused of a lot of mismanagement in his office together with the respectable position he holds. Magosi has been DIS Director General since May 2018, taking over from founding Director General, Colonel Isaac Kgosi.

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Nigerians, Zimbabweans apply for Chema Chema Fund

16th April 2024

Fronting activities, where locals are used as a front for foreign-owned businesses, have been a long-standing issue in Botswana. These activities not only undermine the government’s efforts to promote local businesses but also deprive Batswana of opportunities for economic empowerment, officials say. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has warned of heavy penalties for those involved in fronting activities especially in relation to the latest popular government initiative dubbed Chema Chema.

According to the Ministry, the Industrial Development Act of 2019 clearly outlines the consequences of engaging in fronting activities. The fines of up to P50,000 for first-time offenders and P20,000 plus a two-year jail term for repeat offenders send a strong message that the government is serious about cracking down on this illegal practice. These penalties are meant to deter individuals from participating in fronting activities and to protect the integrity of local industries.

“It is disheartening to hear reports of collaboration between foreigners and locals to exploit government initiatives such as the Chema Chema Fund. This fund, administered by CEDA and LEA, is meant to support informal traders and low-income earners in Botswana. However, when fronting activities come into play, the intended beneficiaries are sidelined, and the funds are misused for personal gain.” It has been discovered that foreign nationals predominantly of Zimbabwean and Nigerian origin use unsuspecting Batswana to attempt to access the Chema Chema Fund. It is understood that they approach these Batswana under the guise of drafting business plans for them or simply coming up with ‘bankable business ideas that qualify for Chema Chema.’

Observers say the Chema Chema Fund has the potential to uplift the lives of many Batswana who are struggling to make ends meet. They argue that it is crucial that these funds are used for their intended purpose and not siphoned off through illegal activities such as fronting. The Ministry says the warning it issued serves as a reminder to all stakeholders involved in the administration of these funds to ensure transparency and accountability in their disbursement.

One local commentator said it is important to highlight the impact of fronting activities on the local economy and the livelihoods of Batswana. He said by using locals as a front for foreign-owned businesses, opportunities for local entrepreneurs are stifled, and the economic empowerment of Batswana is hindered. The Ministry’s warning of heavy penalties is a call to action for all stakeholders to work together to eliminate fronting activities and promote a level playing field for local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s warning of heavy penalties for fronting activities is a necessary step to protect the integrity of local industries and promote economic empowerment for Batswana. “It is imperative that all stakeholders comply with regulations and work towards a transparent and accountable business environment. By upholding the law and cracking down on illegal activities, we can ensure a fair and prosperous future for all Batswana.”










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Merck Foundation and African First Ladies mark World Health Day 2024

15th April 2024

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks “World Health Day” 2024 together with Africa’s First Ladies who are also Ambassadors of MerckFoundation “More Than a Mother” Campaign through their Scholarship and Capacity Building Program. Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “At Merck Foundation, we mark World Health Day every single day of the year over the past 12 years, by building healthcare capacity and transforming patient care across Africa, Asia and beyond.

I am proud to share that Merck Foundation has provided over 1740 scholarships to aspiring young doctors from 52 countries, in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Neonatal Medicine, Advanced Surgical Practice, Pain Management, General Surgery, Clinical Microbiology and infectious diseases, Internal Medicine, Trauma & Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Cardiology, Stroke Medicine, Care of the Older Person, Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Child Health, Obesity & Weight Management, Women’s Health, Biotechnology in ART and many more”.

As per the available data, Africa has only 34.6% of the required doctors, nurses, and midwives. It is projected that by 2030, Africa would need additional 6.1 million doctors, nurses, and midwives*. “For Example, before the start of the Merck Foundation programs in 2012; there was not a single Oncologist, Fertility or Reproductive care specialists, Diabetologist, Respiratory or ICU specialist in many countries such as The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Guinea, Burundi, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Namibia among others. We are certainly creating historic legacy in Africa, and also beyond. Together with our partners like Africa’s First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Gender, Education and Communication, we are impacting the lives of people in the most disadvantaged communities in Africa and beyond.”, added Senator Dr. Kelej. Merck Foundation works closely with their Ambassadors, the African First Ladies and local partners such as; Ministries of Health, Education, Information & Communication, Gender, Academia, Research Institutions, Media and Art in building healthcare capacity and addressing health, social & economic challenges in developing countries and under-served communities. “I strongly believe that training healthcare providers and building professional healthcare capacity is the right strategy to improve access to equitable and quality at health care in Africa.

Therefore, I am happy to announce the Call for Applications for 2024 Scholarships for young doctors with special focus on female doctors for our online one-year diploma and two year master degree in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties, which includes both Online Diploma programs and On-Site Fellowship and clinical training programs. The applications are invited through the Office of our Ambassadors and long-term partners, The First Ladies of Africa and Ministry of Health of each country.” shared Dr . Kelej. “Our aim is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people by building healthcare capacity across Africa, Asia and other developing countries. We are strongly committed to transforming patientcare landscape through our scholarships program”, concluded Senator Kelej.

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Interpol fugitive escapes from Botswana

15th April 2024

John Isaak Ndovi, a Tanzanian national embroiled in controversy and pursued under a red notice by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), has mysteriously vanished, bypassing a scheduled bail hearing at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court in Gaborone. Previously apprehended by Botswana law enforcement at the Tlokweng border post several months earlier, his escape has ignited serious concerns.

Accused of pilfering assets worth in excess of P1 million, an amount translating to roughly 30,000 Omani Riyals, Ndovi has become a figure of paramount interest, especially to the authorities in the Sultanate of Oman, nestled in the far reaches of Asia.

The unsettling news of his disappearance surfaced following his failure to present himself at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court the preceding week. Speculation abounds that Ndovi may have sought refuge in South Africa in a bid to elude capture, prompting a widespread mobilization of law enforcement agencies to ascertain his current location.

In an official communiqué, Detective Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Selebatso Mokgosi of Interpol Gaborone disclosed Ndovi’s apprehension last September at the Tlokweng border, a capture made possible through the vigilant issuance of the Interpol red notice.

At 36, Ndovi is implicated in a case of alleged home invasion in Oman. Despite the non-existence of an extradition treaty between Botswana and Oman, Nomsa Moatswi, the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), emphasized that the lack of formal extradition agreements does not hinder her office’s ability to entertain extradition requests. She highlighted the adoption of international cooperation norms, advocating for collaboration through the lenses of international comity and reciprocity.

Moatswi disclosed the intensified effort by law enforcement to locate Ndovi following his no-show in court, and pointed to Botswana’s track record of extraditing two international fugitives from France and Zimbabwe in the previous year as evidence of the country’s relentless pursuit of legal integrity.

When probed about the potential implications of Ndovi’s case on Botswana’s forthcoming evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Moatswi reserved her speculations. She acknowledged the criticality of steering clear of blacklisting, suggesting that this singular case is unlikely to feature prominently in the FATF’s assessment criteria.


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