Former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Carter Morupisi is demanding an apology from President Mokgweetsi Masisi over defamatory remarks made against him during the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) National Council in July 2022.
If the apology is not forthcoming, Morupisi has vowed to proceed to court before the year 2024. In an interview on Friday, Morupisi said he was defamed by Masisi when addressing a closed session of the BDP National Council during discussions, which were later leaked to the public.
Morupisi said he believes Masisi defamed him when claimed that the former was pushing the narrative that the latter used him to attack former President Ian Khama. According to Morupisi, he has sent a letter of complaint to Masisi’s office demanding an apology.
However, Masisi has ignored the letter delivered on the 25th July 2022, Morupisi said. “If someone in Masisi’s position defamed you there is no way you can sue him as he enjoys Presidential immunity. But he won’t be President forever as it will pass,” warned Morupisi.
During the BDP National Council Masisi took a swipe at Khama and his allies. He said Khama was furious with him because he did not appoint his younger brother Tshekedi as his vice President when took over the presidency. Masisi also said Khama did not support him during BDP congresses in Tonota in 2017 and Mmadinare in 2015 when he contested the BDP chairmanship against Tebelelo Seretse and Nonofo Molefhi.
In a damning letter to Masisi, Morupisi said during his employment as PSP, he never acted on the misunderstanding between Masisi and Khama, but rather followed lawful procedure and authority. He noted that he interfaced between the two rightfully so because the administration of the Office of Former Presidents fell within his mandate, through delegated authority which Masisi gave him.
“To state that I had at any time behaved as if ‘you gave me authority to harass President Khama is defamation which lowers my dignity. Your remarks made about me which were intended to impress regrettably are devoid of any truth except malice,” said Morupisi, who was fired by Masisi in 2020.
In February 2020, Masisi fired Morupisi and appointed Elias Magosi as his replacement. He was first suspended as PSP in 2019 before elections after corruption charges were laid against him in relation to the misappropriation of approximately P500 million which Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) had given to asset managers -Capital Management Botswana (CMB).
In the matter that is still dragging before the courts three years later, Morupisi faces two (2) counts of corruption accused of abuse office and acceptance of a bribe by a public officer. Morupisi has since dismissed the charges, saying they were politically motivated.
After his sacking, Morupisi become number one critic of the Masisi led administration. Prior to his fallout with Masisi, Morupisi broke ranks with Khama but later on reunited when Morupisi and his wife Pinny joined the opposition Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) where Khama is a patron.