Mmegi Online :: Bid to oust Morupisi at BPOPF fails
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Last Updated
Wednesday 17 January 2018, 23:00 pm.
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Bid to oust Morupisi at BPOPF fails

An attempt to remove Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi as chairperson of the Botswana Public officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) over potential conflict of interest concerns failed on Tuesday after fellow board members from government blocked the motion.
By Staff Writer Fri 22 Dec 2017, 12:35 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Bid to oust Morupisi at BPOPF fails








The motion to oust the chairperson at Tuesday’s board meeting was driven by recently surfaced allegations that Morupisi has a beneficial interest in Capital Management Botswana (CMB), an asset management company that won P830 million in tenders from the BPOPF.

Relations have since soured between BPOPF and CMB after the former terminated the contract and asked for its money back.

According to a source who attended the board meeting, the motion to remove Morupisi was blocked by nine board members who represent government in the board.

Despite his denial of any interest in CMB, other board members at Tuesday’s meeting however still asked Morupisi to recuse himself after the motion to remove him permanently as chairperson failed.

“There was a failed motion to remove the chairman permanently after he was backed by board members from government. He professed his innocence on the CMB issue and agreed to recuse himself from the meeting,” added the source.

The BPOPF board has 21 members; nine from employer (government), nine from employees (unions), one pensioner, one independent and the principal officer.

 The allegations came to the fore recently when former Kgori Capital managing director, Bakang Seretse wrote to BPOPF and the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), alleging that he had been told by a highly placed source that Morupisi has an interest in CMB.

“We have been advised by (name withheld) that   that chairman of the Fund has a beneficial interest through CEO Okaile Rapula in CMB and

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that he has held several meetings with them. While we cannot independently vouch for this, we thought it was important to bring it to your attention to avoid issues of potential conflict of interest,” Seretse alleges in his letter.

Morupisi has denied having any interest in CMB and told local media over the weekend that he was open to a public enquiry into his financials to clear his name.

Tuesday’s board meeting also finalised an earlier resolution to take legal action against CMB after the company refused to hand back the assets it had invested in.

BPOPF terminated CMB mandate after investigations revealed that the fund manager flouted agreed investments policies and guidelines.

Industry insiders say the contract was terminated on October 30, 2017 with an order for the fund manager to return P477 million in assets, but CMB has not complied with BPOPF’s demands. Although their private equity mandate had been extended to P830 million from P500 million, CMB had only drawn down P477 million and invested in companies such as Wilderness Safaris, Bona Life amongst others including little known entities such as Kawena, Mokobi Airlines and Agile University. 

Under a new investment strategy, BPOPF introduced private equity locally three years ago. In September 2014, the Fund launched a P800 million local private equity fund, P500 million of which was awarded to CMB with the remainder tendered out.

BPOPF CEO Boitumelo Molefe declined to comment saying board proceedings were confidential.

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