Mmegi Online :: You are unethical
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Last Updated
Tuesday 19 September 2017, 16:12 pm.
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You are unethical

I request the right to reply to your lead story in last Sunday's edition of The Patriot.
By (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: You are unethical








Your report is full of propaganda, bordering on the malice. You even ascribed statements to me like "Why are you following us", which I never uttered.I got a call from your reporter, who introduced himself as "Sakarea" on Friday May 31, 2013 at 17:43 hours. He asked me about the transaction involving MIH shares. I told him I was driving and would revert to him later.

I left a message for Sakarea to call me back at 18:30 hours and followed him up twice as I had since established that The Patriot goes to bed on Friday evening.  He finally called me back at 18:53 hours.This is my verbatim response to him: "You called me earlier when I was driving. How can I help you, Rre Sakarea?" He repeated his earlier question to which I replied:

 "The MIH is a private company and has no obligation whatsoever to disclose its affairs to the public.If you want any information regarding the trading of shares, you should talk to the chairman of the Board.I am sure you know his contacts as you quoted him in the last edition of your paper. I am both a director and shareholder of the company. It would be inappropriate for me to answer on the company's behalf. Any information I shall give you, would be on a non-attributable basis. It would be off the record, but I hope it can help you put your story in proper perspective.

"Shareholders of MIH routinely trade their shares among themselves. There is currently some trading going on, and a number of people have either bought or expressed interest in buying the shares on offer. In terms of the process, non-shareholders are ineligible to buy shares.Only existing shareholders have pre-emptive rights to secure such shares. I am aware of six people with pre-emptive rights who have either bought or made a bid for the shares on offer in the current window. "I have since established that Karlmon Mogalakwe, a director and shareholder of the company - and one of six people who have either bought or booked shares on offer - is the source of your story. Mogalakwe requested permission to access information on the sale of shares of one of the shareholders in the company at a Board meeting held on Monday, May 20th.  On Friday May 24th he asked for specific information from the Company Secretary, insisting that the said information be given to him by 12 noon of the same day.

"He copied his letter of demand to the Company Secretary to the company's directors. By end of business on Friday, your paper had a copy of the said information; and accounts about "proxies" and "empowerment" aside, the facts of the sale of shares on offer by the particular seller were substantially correct.I have noted that in your story, you did not make mention of the fact that Mogalakwe has bought or is buying MIH shares."Bapasi Mphusu, the editor of your newspaper, should have disclosed to you that he is

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a shareholder in MIH and one of six people who have exercised their pre-emptive rights in the current window. He has in fact recently increased his shareholding in the company.In your report last week, you reported that two people are buying MIH shares.Your account is defective."

Your story has made a meal about "empowerment". I have heard those stories before. Mogalakwe and others have been flogging that story for as long as I can remember.What they mean is that they should be handed the trust's shares for nothing, "sweat shares" as they call them. They won't have it. If they can't, they want the trust's shares sold on the cheap. If they can't raise the money, those who make an effort to do so are either thieves or front's men for "proxy" buyers! I, who am talking to you, founded, with Patrick van Rensburg, the Mmegi Trust over 25 years ago. Van Rensburg, Titus Mbuya and I, built the Mmegi brand through hard work, personal sacrifice and sheer perseverance. I told your reporter last week that "We do not need to be insulted about selling our company to "proxies". 

We would like to think that we have empowered, through the Trust and the MIH, many Batswana, including the likes of Messrs Mogalakwe and Mphusu. There have been many opportunities in the past for the Trust members to empower themselves through the purchase of MIH shares. A significant number of stock is being traded during the current window, and one wonders why trust members are not "empowering"" themselves. . You should also ask your sources to tell you how people who are not shareholders of the company can buy MIH, as your story alleges."

The day a journalist allows himself to be sucked into boardroom politics, and goes to lengths to hide identities of sources whose footprints are all over the place; his credibility goes to the sewer. Mogalakwe has, over the past fortnight been trying to endear himself to staff of the company and minority shareholders by rubbishing his competitors in newspapers and meetings, open and clandestine.Once in 2007, I raised a loan from a financial institution to purchase shares in the CBET Company, and Mogalakwe went on a whispering campaign telling people that "I was trying to run away with their company".He also said I stole money from the company to buy the shares.

This was after he himself had tried to raise funds to buy shares from the same company but failed. Of course he pleaded innocent when I  confronted him.Like he did this week, when I told him to his face, in front of other people, that he is the source of The Patriot  story.  Some of the company's staff asked me about your story  and I warned them against attempts by rogue characters, who after making a pitch for the company's shares start crying "we waz robbed".I also warned them to be careful when dealing with shareholder matters. I hope your reporter is listening.

Methaetsile Leepile
Per email

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