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Why Morupisi fell out with BPOPF’s Molefe

OARABILE MOSIKARE
Morupisi PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The suspended Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi and Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund chief executive officer (BPOPF CEO) Boitumelo Molefe fell out as a result of the rot at Capital Management Botswana (CMB).

The industry sources said the two had a run-in when Morupisi was chairperson of the BPOPF board.

Molefe took over from Lesedi Moakofhi as BPOPF CEO in December 2015.

“Upon her appointment as CEO of BPOPF, she quickly realised the corrupt relationship that was embedded within CMB and how it was crippling the BPOPF. 

At best, CMB was a Ponzi scheme.  CMB did not only get a corrupt contract, as all service provider appointments to BPOPF require a Board resolution.  

With CMB, only Morupisi and Moakofhi made the appointment of asset management firm, but had no institutional infrastructure to carry a mandate of private equity.   By that time their office was a skeleton, with no legal, accounting and investment process embedded within the company. 

These are basic requirements from NBFIRA for a private equity entity to operate,” one of the sources said.

It is alleged that at one point Morupisi tried to fire Molefe and replace her with CMB managing director, Rapula Okaile “so as a way of hiding CMB transgressions”. 

“Lies were then peddled about Molefe around town of how unfit she was for the office of CEO of the Fund, and her closeness to some service providers.

The break in relationship between Molefe and CMB started with the BPOPF MTN Mascom shares,” the source said. 

CMB had excitedly approached BPOPF to buy Strive Masiyiwa’s seven percent shares in Mascom. 

“They gave the fund 24 hours to accept the offer and in turn pass the cash to them to transact on behalf of the Fund.”

He asserted: “The seven percent was ridiculously valued at Mascom at P7 billion and yet the last audit had valued Mascom slightly over P3.5 billion.  The refusal of Molefe to agree to this transaction set her on collusion with Morupisi and CMB.  Morupisi conflicted himself by pushing the deal and yet he was both chairperson of BPOPF and Mascom.

Morupisi further pressurised Molefe to sanction a purchase

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of P400m plus for Lobatse Clay Works. BDC was the seller. It later turned out that the actual sale was P60m when BDC attempted to sue BPOPF for failure to perform on an agreed sale contract.

CMB was to pocket the balance between the P40m and the P60m”.   

Morupisi has been slapped with three counts of offences alleged to be in connection with the misappropriation of funds from the BPOPF. According to the charge sheet, Morupisi is facing three counts of abuse of office, acceptance of bribe by a public officer and money laundering while his wife is charged with only one count of money laundering.

The particulars of the offence are that on count one which is abuse of office, Morupisi while employed as the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) authorised CMB to administer the BPOPF funds as the private equity managers and obtained valuable consideration for himself and his wife’s company.

“The accused person whilst employed as PSP, a public officer who held the position of board chairman for BPOPF on or about November 11, 2014 without final resolution of the board and while the board’s functions were suspended by order of the court signed a contract with CMB on behalf of BPOPF authorising pension funds for himself and his wife’s company,” the charge sheet read.

On count two of acceptance of bribe  contrary to Section 26 of Corruption and Economic Crime Act, Morupisi is accused of acting together with the wife in her personal capacity and as the director of R7 Group to receive a valuable consideration to wit a Toyota land cruiser for himself and his wife’s company.

The last count, which the wife is also charged for, is money laundering and the particulars of the offence are that they acted together on or about May 15, 2017 and laundered the amount of P630,988.99 which was proceeds of crime.



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