Former Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi confronted President Mokgweetsi Masisi to express his disappointment for using him to fight his political battles with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama.
According to sources, a fuming Morupisi was able to set-up a meeting with Masisi last week. Chief on the agenda was Morupisi’s displeasure at how Masisi treated him, including among others the decision to not offer him contract extension, despite having earlier indicated his desire to serve two more years. “He went to tell Masisi off, I think he feels betrayed. Anyone would. Imagine being there and standing by someone only for them to turn against you,” revealed a source close to developments.
The meeting however did not end well, as Masisi did not take kindly to Morupisi’s confrontation resulting with the latter being shown the exit door. Following Masisi’s ascendance to presidency at the beginning of April in 2018, Morupisi became a key man in the fallout between Masisi and his predecessor, Khama. At the height of Masisi-Khama tension in the build up to 2019 general elections, Morupisi was used as the hitman, unleashing on the onslaught on his hapless former boss.
Morupisi’s civil service career found momentum during Khama’s presidency after being elevated from a Permanent Secretary position to head Directorate on Public Service Management (DPSM), and later assuming the reigns as the head of civil service in 2014. However, Morupisi found himself being saddled with the task of delivering the sad news to Khama every time. Unbeknownst to him, Morupisi at one point told WeekendPost that his loyalty lies with the current President as required by the position he held.
It is however believed that Masisi has always had plans to replace Morupisi with Elias Magosi, who was appointed as Morupisi’s understudy at the beginning of Masisi’s term in 2018. Magosi was announced as the new PSP three weeks ago, a development which incensed Morupisi. Though Morupisi had been on suspension since September 2019 owing to corruption charges relating to dealings at Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Capital Management Botswana (CMB) he had hoped his contract would be extended.
Sources reveal that during his suspension from office, Morupisi proposed to have his contract renewed but he was turned down. During the heated meeting recently, it is alleged that Masisi felt no remorse at all when Morupisi confronted him on how disappointed he was. A few days before seeing off his contract, Morupisi had called a press conference in which he promised to spill the beans. In the invitation directed to the media, Morupisi quoted the iconic human rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, “Our lives begin to end the day we choose to be silent about things that matter”, he wrote.
The Office of the President however moved swiftly to warn Morupisi that should he proceed with such a press conference, there would be serious implications on his part. Morupisi developed cold feet and cancelled the press conference at the eleventh hour. It is reported that government threatened to withhold his terminal benefits should he contravene the Public Service Act, which govern Morupisi, who was at that time, a government employee.
Initially when Morupisi’s contract ended, it was alleged that Morupisi was given a period of three months to seek alternative accommodation while waiting to vacate his official residence at Extension 11 in Gaborone. However on Thursday last week, Morupisi was slapped with another secretive eviction letter that indicated that he needed to vacate the premises within a week. This, sources close to the developments say was done immediately after Morupisi and Masisi’s heated meeting. “Morupisi wanted Masisi to know that he is disappointed, I think he never thought at some point he would change on him. Now the tables have turned, he is amongst those who have faced the axe from the current regime,” said the source.
This publication reported that as the year slowly unfolds more heads are expected to roll within government enclave as Masisi is prepared to phase out more top civil servants from their duties and replace them with his new brigade. When reached for comment Morupisi denied having met the President on such grounds, indicating that the only encounter he had with the President was when he went to say his goodbyes since his contract was nearing an end.
More developments revealed by reliable sources to this publication indicate that the former PSP is now trying to rekindle his relationship with Khama.It is reported that Morupisi had recently met with the former President in a brief meeting. Morupisi made startling revelations at a media briefing in Gaborone last year which was aimed at discussing the pension and benefits of former presidents, in which Khama was at the receiving end.
The public service chief said former presidents; the late Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae never wanted special treatment extended to them from government with regard to pensions and benefits, but Khama continues to expect preferential treatment. Morupisi revealed that Khama had been a burden as he wanted to be treated with kid’s gloves and offered special treatment. He also revealed that all the favours propelled to Khama were not within the legal framework as they had to go an extra mile for him.
“In all honesty it will not be fair and authentic to the late former President Masire if I state that he wanted the government to treat him with kid’s gloves and extended his benefits beyond what is in the rule book,” he stated. According to Morupisi, Masire never troubled government, even though he had many financial shortcoming and needs. In nursing his relation with Khama, Morupisi would have to face the bitter realities. When Khama was at the receiving end of Morupisi directives in 2018, he accused the latter of using him in order to ingratiate himself to President Masisi in order to keep his job.
Khama warned Morupisi that all that he is doing to him in his endeavour to protect his job will soon catch up with him. Khama, who referred to Morupisi as a ‘pretender’ said he was concerned in his bid to please Masisi, he was doing so by undermining him, disparaging, frustrating and sabotaging him.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.