Unions applaud Masisi for Morupisi suspension

Mogomotsi Motshegwa
Mogomotsi Motshegwa

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has applauded President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s decision to suspend the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi.

Morupisi is implicated in the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) corruption scandal. The scandal has reportedly robbed the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) money amounting to more than P500 million.

Early this week, Masisi slapped Morupisi with a suspension following his appearance in court over corruption related charges. The charges are entirely centred on the money unlawfully solicited from the pension fund.

In particular, the PSP has been charged with offences of receiving bribes, corruption and abuse of office. His wife, Pinnie Morupisi faces a single charge of abuse of office.

“We have never said that Morupisi is guilty. What we said was that he should step aside in order to clear his name because he was implicated in corrupt activities in relation to the BPOPF funds, which are pensions of government employees.We have always found it unethical for him being the most senior servant to continue holding office while he is facing corruption allegations,” Said BOFEPUSU spokesperson Mogomotsi Motshegwa in an interview yesterday. 

Added Motshegwa, “You will have to understand that Morupisi was the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the BPOPF and he resigned from his post as a result of sustained pressure from the federation. To some extent our well known position on Morupisi is vindicated by the latest developments”.

For sometime the federation and other opposition parties have been advocating for Morupisi to step down in order for him to clear his name.

In May this year while giving a keynote address during Labour Day Celebrations in Francistown, BOFEPUSU vice president Olebile Molamu expressed worry that Morupisi still held office while allegations of corruption involving funds belonging to public service employees have been leveled against him. That was in violation of the principles of good corporate governance, he argued.

Molamu then pleaded with Masisi ‘to act swiftly’ on allegations against Morupisi and ensure that the PSP stepped down to clear his name.

“Your Excellency, while your government has committed to fight corruption, we are of the view that enough is not being done save for some few grandstanding overtures where the media is being called to watch when suspects are being searched and later released. We are worried your Excellency that your attempts to fight corruption are being applied selectively,” Molamu said.

Not all stakeholders have wholeheartedly welcomed Morupipsi’s though. One of the country’s opposition parties the Alliance for Progressives yesterday in a statement said that the ‘suspension is only at tip on the iceberg.’ 

“Today’s announcement by the President of the suspension of Carter Morupisi is too little too late. It is quiet clear that the President was forced into action due to the appearance of Mr Morupisi in court this week. He acted not because it was the right thing to do.

But because there is an election in just over 50 days time.The fact that it took him so long to announce the suspension speaks volumes,” the AP said in a statement.

 Meanwhile, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko was also quoted in the media saying that the suspension of Morupisi was a sign of good governance.

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