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Morupisi confronts Masisi

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.

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UDC founder warns against merger

19th October 2020
Ex UDC Convener: Mpotokwane

Lebang Mpotokwane, one of the conveners who presided over the opposition cooperation talks that resulted in the formation of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), has advised against changing the current umbrella model in favour of a merger as proposed by others.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader, Dumelang Saleshando recently went public to propose that UDC should consider merging of all opposition parties, including Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BNF).

Saleshando has been vehemently opposed by Botswana National Front (BNF), which is in favour of maintaining the current model.  BNF’s position has been favoured by the founding father of UDC, who warned that it will be too early to ditch the current model.

“UDC should be well developed to promote the spirit of togetherness on members and the members should be taught so that the merger is developed gradually. They should approach it cautiously. If they feel they are ready, they can, but it would not be a good idea,” Mpotokwane told WeekendPost this week.

Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane are the two men who have since 2003 began a long journey of uniting opposition parties in a bid to dethrone the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BCP) as they felt it needed a strong opposition to avoid complacency.

Tonota born Mpotokwane is however disappointed on how they have been ejected from participating in the last edition of talks ahead of the 2019 general elections in which BCP was brought on board.  However, despite the ejection, Mpotokwane is not resentful to the opposition collective.

He said the vision of opposition unity was to ultimately merge the opposition parties but he believes time has not arrived yet to pursue that path. “The bigger picture was a total merger and we agreed that with three independent parties, members might be against merger eventuality so the current model should be used until a point where they are now together for as long as possible,” he said.

“UDC should gradually perform better in elections and gain confidence. They should not rush the merger. We have been meeting since 2003, but if they rush it might cause endless problems. If they are ready they can anyway,” he advised. For now the constituent parties of the umbrella have been exchanging salvos with others (BCP and BNF).

“There are good reasons for and against merging the parties. Personally, I am in favour of merging the parties (including AP and BPF) into a single formation but I know it’s a complex mission that will have its own challenges,” Saleshando said when he made his position known a week ago.

“Good luck to those advocating for a merger, it will be interesting to observe the tactics they will use to lure the BPF into a merger,” former BNF councillor for Borakalalo Ward and former BNF Youth League Secretary General, Arafat Khan, opined in relation to BCP’s proposed position.

Mpotokwane, who is currently out in the cold from the UDC since he was ejected from the party’s NEC in 2017, said the current bickering and the expected negotiations with other parties need the presence of conveners.

“We did not belong to any party as conveners so we were objective in our submissions. If party propose any progressive idea we will support, if it is not we will not, so I would agree that even now conveners might be key for neutrality to avoid biasness,” he observed. Despite being abandoned, Mpotokwane said he will always be around to assist if at all he is needed.

“If they want help I will be there, I have always been clear about it, but surely I will ask few questions before accepting that role,” he said. UDC is expected to begin cooperation talks with both AP and BPF either this week or next weekend for both upcoming bye-elections (halted by Covid-19) and 2024 general elections and it is revealed that there will be no conveners this time around.

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BDP attaches Boko’s property

19th October 2020
DUMA BOKO

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) moved through its lawyers to attach the property of Umbrella for Democratic (UDC) President Duma Boko and other former parliamentary contestants who failed in their court bid to overturn the 2019 general elections in 14 constituencies.

WeekendPost has established that this week, Deputy Sheriffs were commissioned by Bogopa Manewe Tobedza and Company who represented the BDP, to attach the properties of UDC elections contents in a bid to recover costs.  High Court has issued a writ of execution against all petitioners, a process that has set in motion the cost recovery measures.

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COVID-19 exposes decay in the education system

19th October 2020
Education Systm

Botswana Sectors of Teachers Union (BOSETU) says COVID-19 as a pandemic has negatively affected the education sector by deeply disrupting the education system. The intermittent lockdowns have resulted in the halting of teaching and learning in schools.

The union indicated that the education system was caught napping and badly exposed when it came to the use of Information System (IT), technological platforms and issues of digitalisation.

“COVID-19 exposed glaring inefficiencies and deficiencies when it came to the use of ITC in schools. In view of the foregoing, we challenge government as BOSETU to invest in school ITC, technology and digitalization,” says BOSETU President Kinston Radikolo during a press conference on Tuesday.

As a consequence, the union is calling on government to prioritise education in her budgeting to provide technological infrastructure and equipment including provision of tablets to students and teachers.

“Government should invest vigorously in internet connectivity in schools and teacher’s residences if the concept of flexi-hours and virtual learning were to be achieved and have desired results,” Radikolo said.

Radikolo told journalists that COVID-19 is likely to negatively affect final year results saying that the students would sit for the final examinations having not covered enough ground in terms of curriculum coverage.

“This is so because there wasn’t any catch up plan that was put in place to recover the lost time by students. We warn that this year’s final examination results would dwindle,” he said.

The Union, which is an affiliate of Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Union (BOFEPUSU), also indicated that COVID-19’s presence as a pandemic has complicated the role of a teacher in a school environment, saying a teacher’s role has not only transcended beyond just facilitating teaching and learning, but rather, a teacher in this COVID-19 era, is also called upon to enforce the COVID-19 preventative protocols in the school environment.

“This is an additional role in the duty of a teacher that needs to be recognized by the employers. Teachers by virtue of working in a congested school environment have become highly exposed and vulnerable to COVID-19, hence the reason why BOSETU would like teachers to be regarded as the frontline workers with respect to COVID-19,” says Radikolo.

BOSETU noted that the pandemic has in large scales found its way into most of the school environments, as in thus far more than 50 schools have been affected by COVID-19. The Union says this is quite a worrying phenomenon.

“As we indicated before when we queried that schools were not ready for re-opening, it has now come to pass that our fears were not far-fetched. This goes out to tell that there is deficiency in our schools when it comes to putting in place preventative protocols. In our schools, hygiene is compromised by mere absence of sanitizers, few hand-washing stations, absence of social distancing in classes,” the Union leader said.

Furthermore, Radikolo stressed that the shifting system drastically increased the workload for teachers especially in secondary schools. He says teachers in these schools experience very high loads to an extent that some of them end up teaching up to sixty four periods per week, adding that this has not only fatigued teachers, but has also negatively affected their performance and the quality of teaching.

In what the Union sees as failure to uphold and honour collective agreements by government, owing to the shift system introduced at primary schools, government is still in some instances refusing to honour an agreement with the Unions to hire more teachers to take up the extra classes.

“BOSETU notes with disgruntlement the use of pre-school teachers to teach in the mainstream schools with due regard for their specific areas of training and their job descriptions. This in our view is a variation of the terms of employment of the said teachers,” says Radikolo.

The Union has called on government to forthwith remedy this situation and hire more teachers to alleviate this otherwise unhealthy situation. BOSETU also expressed concerns of some school administrators who continuously run institutions with iron fists and in a totalitarian way.

“We have a few such hot spot schools which the Union has brought to attention the Ministry officials such as Maoka JSS, Artesia JSS, and Dukwi JSS. We are worried that the Ministry becomes sluggish in taking action against such errant school administration. In instances where action is taken, such school administrators are transferred and rotated around schools.”

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