Botswana: Over 70 Per Cent Score Qualified Cmb for Final Stage

Gaborone — A former Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) trustee says Capital Management Botswana (CMB) emerged the preferred bidder after the initial tendering processes for managing the fund's investments.

Testifying in the ongoing corruption case involving former permanent secretary to the president Carter Morupisi and his wife Pinny, Mr Alan Keitseng said the tender in question was instituted in January 2014 with a number of companies showing interest.

Mr Keitseng told the Gaborone High Court on Wednesday at the time he was chairperson of the investment and finance committee.

The committee, he said, received an evaluation report from the then chief excutive officer, Ms Lesedi Moakofhi detailing that CMB had met the requirements of the initial and technical stages of the tendering process scoring more than 70 per cent. "All this means that CMB, now qualifies to go to the final stage of the bidding process of which entailed carrying out of legal due diligence," he said.

Mr Keitseng explained that at the final stage, a company was to give BPOPF access to information which in most cases was deemed confidential as it was required to gauge the legal readiness of the potential service provider. Around June or July, 2014, Mr Keitseng said BPOPF management informed his committee that according to its assessment, CMB had actually met the requirements of the first two stages.

A recommendation was therefore made to give CMB a conditional offer pending finalisation of the legal due diligence, he said.

"The last report I had received from the management while I was the chairperson of the finance and investment committee that I had forwarded to the board of trustees stated that the issue of legal due diligence was still pending.

What I know is that the last finance and investment committee meeting was on October 6, 2014 and my trustee tenure expired on October 7, 2014 and the issues of legal due diligence and legal agreement relating to CMB were still pending," said Mr Keitseng.

Mr Keitseng, a design and technology lecturer at Molepolole College of Education, said at one point, he was summoned by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for questioning in relation to his involvement in BPOPF.

"I was also interrogated on issues relating to the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) transaction.

The DCEC indicated that there was a matter they were pursuing which involved, Carter Morupisi, who was by then the Chairperson of the BPOPF board of trustees," said Mr Keitseng.

He revealed that his membership as the employee trustee started in October 2011 and ended on October 7, 2014.

"I was a representative of the Trainers and Allied Workers Union. Our role as the board of trustees was to manage the affairs of the BPOPF, appoint service providers, attend to any others matters including managing finances and investment," he said.

Under cross examination by defence counsel, Mr Busang Manewe, Mr Keitseng revealed that he was not privy to what transpired October 7-November 11, 2014 as he was no longer involved in the fund's affairs.

He concurred with the defence attorney that at the time when he was with the fund, Morupisi was not a member of the finance and investment committee.

Mr Keitseng said the minutes of the board meeting dated August 21-22, 2014 brought confusion as it talked about legal agreement not legal due diligence.

The defence attorney further put it to the witness that the minutes of the board meetings and those of finance and investment committee consistently mentioned pending completion of the legal agreement instead of legal due diligence.

The trial is before Gaborone High Court Judge, Mokwadi Gabanagae and it involves Carter Morupisi, R7 Group (PTY) Limited and Pinny Morupisi. Morupisi is facing two counts of corruption and is on a third count of money laundering jointly charged with R7 Group (PTY) Limited and his wife.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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