- Morupisi made it in life from stealing – DPP
In the eyes of many young people in Malaka and surrounding areas, Carter Morupisi was a role model, an inspiring story of perseverance and hard work to move from rags to riches.
In the eyes of movie fanatics, Morupisi was in the league of Pablo Escobar, Robin Hood, El Chapo or Al Capone.
However, Morupisi fancies himself to be a man of integrity who was betrayed by the people he worked with and trusted.
‘I am in this situation because of incidents that were caused by the people I worked with and trusted. I hope that one day the truth shall come out and the whole nation will know about this case,’ he said at the end of his mitigation of 32 pages and a rich curriculum vitae of 13 pages.
Nowhere in his mitigation did the former Permanent Secretary to the President concede that he committed the two offences of corruption and one of money laundering as result of poor judgment, greed or personal financial challenges.
He stated that in his 37 years in the public service, he rose from junior positions to the head of Public Service as a result of his dedication to improving the lives of Batswana and the economic status of the country.
Towards the end of his illustrious journey, Morupisi was a member of board of directors for several companies and State Owned Enterprises including Debswana, Mascom, BIUST, and was also in the committee that negotiated a deal between DeBeers and the Government of Botswana.
He was also chairman of Botswana National Productivity Centre, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund, and Estimates Committee for the National Budget.
In addition, the country’s classified secrets were at some point in his custody as PSP since he was a member of the Central Intelligence Committee.
Morupisi was also awarded the Presidential Honour/Award for his service to the nation. He was also a patron of Malaka Primary School, several others and he hosted Christmas parties for around 600 children every year since 2005.
He said he has suffered great losses as a result of the case. He also led a fund-raising mission for construction of hostels for a junior secondary school in Tswapong constituency.
According to him, the first casualty of his corruption case was his mother, who passed away immediately after seeing pictures of him in handcuffs and shackled in leg irons. He was then subjected to public spat and verbal abuse both in person and online.
But his rich CV and community service did not impress Prosecutor, Priscilla Israel, who said Morupisi made it in life from stealing. She said he stayed in the public service for more than three decades because he was benefitting from his corrupt conduct.
Initially, she had wanted to know if Morupisi had ever received a bribe, to which the defence objected saying they knew where her line of questioning was headed, and that she was aggravating the situation, something which is against the law and rules on mitigation. A heated exchange ensued between the two, but Israel yielded.
With all this ‘philanthropy’, his attorney, Busang Manewe, said the court should exercise its power and impose a lenient and non-custodial sentence since Morupisi was a first offender, had cooperated with the court and that he was at an advanced age.
“According to Botswana Statistics, the life expectancy for females is 69 years, while for males is around 66 or so. Which means this man is already in the evening of his life. What will the nation benefit from sending a man at this age to a long-term imprisonment?” he asked the fully packed court, which responded in murmurs.
He called for a lenient fine for all the corruption counts and that of money laundering, adding that it should be reasonable since Morupisi is unemployed and had no source of income.
He added that the convict is going to lose the Toyota Land Cruiser at the centre of the case, has lost respect from the public, and has suffered reputational damage, which may never be repaired.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago after Morupisi was convicted, the defence opted not to mitigate, but hit a U-turn on Wednesday afternoon.
Sentencing has been set for November 30th.