LRA cleans Fokothi ac­counts over debt

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

Lerotholi Polytech­nic man­age­ment has de­clared the in­sti­tu­tion “pen­ni­less and grounded” af­ter the Le­sotho rev­enue author­ity (Lra) cleaned the col­lege’s bank ac­counts over tax the in­sti­tu­tion failed to re­mit since 2012.

Fokothi, as the col­lege is bet­ter known, owes Lra M14.5 mil­lion in Pay-as-you-earn tax and has since taken dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against those re­spon­si­ble for this de­ba­cle.

the col­lege man­age­ment yes­ter­day told jour­nal­ists that last week, the author­ity seized the col­lege’s funds in its bank ac­counts, leav­ing them with “zero bal­ances”.

the stu­dents’ grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony, which had been sched­uled for to­mor­row, has since been can­celled due to the fi­nan­cial predica­ment, the man­age­ment fur­ther in­di­cated dur­ing yes­ter­day’s me­dia brief­ing.

the col­lege’s reg­is­trar and act- ing rec­tor, Hlo­mo­hang Ma­jara ex­plained: “We were sup­posed to hold our grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony on 28 March 2015, but re­alised that last Fri­day, 20 March 2015, Lra, had seized all the money in our ac­counts.

this was to re­cover the M14.5 mil­lion we have been ow­ing them in Pay-as-you-earn tax since 2012.”

How­ever, the Lra had only man­aged to col­lect M7 mil­lion from the ac­counts, “which means we still owe them M7.5 mil­lion,” she said.

ad­vo­cate Ma­jara said since the col­lege’s fi­nan­cial woes started, man­age­ment had asked for in­ter­ven­tion from gov­ern­ment, through the min­istry of ed­u­ca­tion, to no avail.

this was due to the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity, which re­sulted in a change of gov­ern­ment midterm, last week.

Fokothi is a vo­ca­tional col­lege and one of the old­est in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing in Le­sotho.

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