An inquiry by Capital Management Botswana (CMB) liquidator into a ‘Masisi Fund’ held by Briscoe Attorneys has revealed that former legislator Sadique Kebonang opened the fund for the then vice president in 2017 and used the money for various activities including purchasing cars.
The liquidator Kopanang Thekiso on July 26, 2019 wrote to Daphne Briscoe requesting information about the Fund opened by Kebonang for Masisi’s political funding.
“On the 21st of April, 2017 the sum of P250 000.00 was transferred into Briscoe Attorneys Trust Account held with Standard Chartered Bank account with the narration CM Botswana for camp donation. We were informed by Kebonang that the payment was a political donation for the then vice president Masisi,” reads Briscoe’s response.
Briscoe further states that the same amount with the same narration was transferred into the same Briscoe Attorneys Trust Account on May 29.
According to Briscoe, on May 17, 2017, Briscoe Attorneys issued a cheque in favour of Naledi Motors for the sum of P455, 000.
“The aforesaid cheque consisted of P50 000 from CMB donations and the balance was not from CMB,” reads the letter.
Briscoe further stated that her law firm on May 31, 2017 issued a cheque in favour of Jaf Auto Dealers for the sum of P110, 000. Still on the same day, another cheque of P40, 000 was issued. She further said that a sum of P100, 000 is still held in Briscoe Attorneys Trust Account.
“On the 4th of July, 2017 the sum of P250 000.00 was transferred into Briscoe Attorneys Trust Account held with Standard Chartered Bank account with the narration CM Botswana for camp donation,” reads her letter.
Briscoe concluded that she was not in a position to confirm whether the payments to all the concerned parties related to the intended use of the Masisi Trust Fund as stated in the file opening.
The liquidator is now seeking answers from Kebonang and on August 19, 2019 gave him September 5, 2019 deadline.
The liquidator also wants to know what the payments to Naledi Motors and Jaf Auto Dealers were for. Kebonang is asked to provide registration books and any other supporting documents to support proof of ownership if the payments were for purchase of vehicles.
Furthermore, the liquidator wants to know what the P40, 000 and another P300, 000 paid to Kebonang were for and how the funds were distributed. Thekiso has also asked Kebonang to state why Sidney Pilane was issued a P50, 000 cheque from the Trust Account.
Kebonang would not comment on the issue stating that he had not physically gotten the leaked documents. The former Minister of Minerals Sadique Kebonang has in the past told the High Court that the money he received from the scandal-ridden private equity firm’s executives was used to fund Masisi’s then chairmanship campaign at Tonota in 2017.
CMB, an asset management firm, is currently embroiled in a legal battle over a disputed sum in excess of P550 million of public pension fund assets.
The row stems back to a 2014 deal with the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund. Citizen-owned insurer, Bona Life also reported CMB to Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority over P133 million in assets under management.
The pension fund and Bona Life are unhappy about the manner in which the funds were managed.