Gov’t Threatened to Withhold Morupisi’s Benefits
- Threat compelled Morupisi to cancel his ‘tell-all’ press conference
- Former PSP says he formally bid farewell to President Masisi last week
Had former Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi, proceeded with his much-vaunted press conference on Thursday last week, government would have gone ahead and withheld his benefits, The Botswana Gazette has established.
According to information gathered by this publication, the government was under strict instructions from the Office of the President (OP) to cut most, if not all of Morupisi’s benefits for violating his contract.
The contract of the erstwhile most powerful man in the public service included a non-disclosure clause that he would have violated by what looked like would have been a ‘tell-all’ affair. Morupisi had been PSP since 2014 until his contract expired at the end of last month (February 2020) but had been on suspension since November last year.
Faced with threats of losing his benefits, Morupisi beat a hasty retreat on the press conference and became irritable with the press. “You should be taking all your questions to the OP, not me,” he retorted to The Botswana Gazette yesterday (Monday). “I have no plans of having the press conference any more.”
Asked about the threat of losing his benefits, he responded: “I don’t know about that one. It could be true because it was only today (Monday) that I met with officials from the OP to engage about my benefits, which I find surprising because it is something that should have long been done.”
Nevertheless, Morupisi disclosed that he had had a farewell meeting with President Mokgweetsi Masisi, although he did not elaborate.
Morupisi was scheduled to address the media at his residence in Gaborone on Thursday last week regarding his past experiences and future plans. However, the press briefing was cancelled at the 11th hour following a strong-worded statement released by the OP on Wednesday evening that firmly ‘advised’ Morupisi against holding the press conference.
The media briefing would have followed just a few weeks after the High Court granted Morupisi and his wife, Pinny, bail as they await trial for corruption. Morupisi stands accused of abuse of office, acceptance of (a) bribe by a public officer and money laundering. These offences are alleged to be in connection with misappropriation of funds at the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF).
Regarding the count of abuse of office, Morupisi is alleged to have on 11 November 2014, while holding the position of board chairperson of the BPOPF, without authority and final resolution of the board, signed a contract with Capital Management Botswana (CMB) on behalf of BPOPF, authorising CMB to administer BPOPF funds.
In the charge of acceptance of bribe, Morupisi is accused of acting together with his wife, in her personal capacity and as the director of R7 Group, to receive a Toyota Land Cruiser for his wife. This is said to be contrary to Section 26 of the Corruption and Economic Crime Act. The third count, that of money laundering, jointly charges the first and the second accused, Morupisi and R7 Group.