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Morupisi gives unsworn evidence in court

Sharon Mathala
Morupisi flanked by his wife Pinnie Morupisi, faces charges on two counts of corruption and abuse of office

“My signing the CMB contract had no bearing at all in the functions of the board” Morupisi

The embattled former Permanent Secretary (PSP) to the President, Carter Morupisi this morning took the stand to give unsworn evidence in court during his trial for corruption and money laundering charges.

Morupisi who was flanked by his alleged partner in crime and wife Pinnie, started his evidence with an explanation of how he was appointed to the office of the President (OP).

He said he was appointed to the position on October 28, 2014 contrary to the state’s claim that he was appointed on November 18th.

Morupisi further explained that he was elected as chairperson of the Botswana Public Officers Fund (BPOPF) Board after the 2013 Presidential directive to replace all the employer trustees from the BPOPF fund.

“I was nominated at a meeting together with Andrew Motsamai with whom I competed for this position. I succeeded and became chairman for a period of five years,” Morupisi explained.

In an attempt to disscociate himself from the charge of corruption Morupisi said that contrary to the charges, he did not have a hand in the awarding of a 500 million Pula private equity tender to Capital Management Botswana (CMB)

“BPOPF operates with several committees. The Private equity investment tender had its request RFQ made public by management in January 2014. It was open for six months and 30 prospective bidders requested and only 14 responded,” said Morupisi who has since ditched the ruling party for its offshoot, the Botswana Patriotic Front.

It is Morupisi’s unsworn evidence that it was the management of BPOPF, which recommended the appointment of CMB although they were yet to complete the legal due diligence requirement. He categorically stated that he was in fact not present on the day when the BPOPF board endorsed the management’s recommendation to appoint CMB.

“I was not in attendance on the August 22 2014 meeting where the board approved the CMB appointment. Apart from being director of DPSM I was also the PSP and so on the day I had other engagement and sent my apology for missing the meeting,” Morupisi further stated and went on to add that he did not even know the CMB directors prior to their tender approval.

When asked why he signed the CMB contract even through there was a court order suspending the business of the board Morupisi said, he did it because it was part of his administrative duties.
“ My signing the CMB contract had no bearing at all in the functions of the board,” he remarked.

Meanwhile throughout the unsown evidence which means it can not be cross examined, prosecution led by Priscilla Israel objected about five times concerning the way the defence lawyer, Busang Manewe was leading Morupisi.

Israel argued that when a witness chooses to give unsworn evidence, they forgo some of the privileges like assistance from their defence counsel.

Morupisi will continue to give evidence this afternoon, when he will be expected to deal with how he procured his customised land cruiser, which is at the heart of the case.

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