Tšehlana sees red over loan

. . . for­mer MP threat­ens le­gal ac­tion af­ter bank re­jects ap­pli­ca­tion

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

For­mer Senkatana leader, Lehlo­honolo Tšehlana, has re­acted an­grily to a let­ter his em­ployer wrote to a lo­cal bank re­gard­ing his sus­pen­sion from duty, re­sult­ing in the rejection of his ap­pli­ca­tion for a m150 000 loan.

Tšehlana is Pro­ject man­ager with the Poverty re­duc­tion Pro­gramme (Prep), which falls un­der the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice but was sus­pended on 11 may this year for al­legedly “bring­ing the Of­fice of the Prime min­is­ter into dis­re­pute”.

Ac­cord­ing to his let­ter of sus­pen­sion and en­dorsed by Prep Di­rec­tor Topollo Lephatšoe, the for­mer All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion and Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (mp) was be­ing sent home on full pay “for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing three months com­menc­ing 13 may 2015”, and would be hauled be­fore a dis­ci­plinary com- mit­tee.

Among his al­leged crimes, mr Tšehlana is ac­cused of not re­spect­ing his su­pe­ri­ors.

How­ever, af­ter ap­ply­ing for a loan from a lo­cal bank (name with­held for pro­fes­sional rea­sons) the in­sti­tu­tion sought con­fir­ma­tion of Mr Tšehlana’s em­ploy­ment.

And in re­sponse, Hu­man re­source man­ager ’makhotso Liphoto, on 5 June 2015 wrote to the bank, not­ing: “This is to con­firm that Mr Lehlo­honolo Tšehlana is em­ployed by the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice on con­tract from may 2014 to April 2017. He is cur­rently on sus­pen­sion pend­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.”

Af­ter the bank sub­se­quently turned down his loan ap­pli­ca­tion, mr Tšehlana is now ac­cus­ing the Of­fice of sabotage, and in a let­ter dated 18 June 2015 and ad­dressed to ms Liphoto, de­clares: “Fol­low­ing the let­ter you wrote to ….bank on 5 June 2015, I am writ­ing this let­ter to you, re­quest­ing your ex­pla­na­tion on the fol­low­ing is­sues: First, I am so shocked by what you call my sus­pen­sion from work as I have not re­ceived any let­ter from you no­ti­fy­ing me about such a de­ci­sion.

“The only let­ter I re­ceived re­lat­ing to the said sus­pen­sion was from some­one iden­ti­fy­ing him­self/her­self as a cer­tain Topollo Lephatšoe, who could not ex­plain fur­ther who he or she was.

“Although the let­ter bore the na­tional em­blem (in­di­cat­ing it was of­fi­cial), I am still won­der­ing whether this per­son is a man, woman, boy or girl! Again, I am still shocked and keep ask­ing my­self how this Topollo Lephatšoe can sus­pend me when I am em­ployed in the Of­fice of the Prime min­is­ter, not his or hers!

“Af­ter this let­ter, I was yet again sur­prised when I was re­fused en­try into my of­fice by se­cu­rity guards who told me they had re­ceived in­struc­tions from Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (PS) to block my way.

“Fol­low­ing the let­ter you wrote to the bank about my sus­pen­sion, I thought it was nec­es­sary for me to ask you these ques­tions:

“First; was this per­son, Topollo Lephatšoe, in­structed by your­self to write the sus­pen­sion let­ter?

“Sec­ond, what is the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Topollo Lephatšoe and the em­ployer? Third; is Topollo Lephatšoe a male or fe­male?

“Fourth; if your an­swer from my first ques­tion is yes, are you aware that the sixth para­graph of Lephatšoe’s let­ter is defam­a­tory, in­sult­ing and de­grad­ing to my in­tegrity?

“Fifth; if your an­swer from my first ques­tion is no, can you ex­plain clearly what you meant by my sus­pen­sion in the let­ter you wrote to the bank on 5 June 2015…?

“Sixth; would I be wrong to sue both you and Topollo Lephatšoe for bring­ing my name into dis­re­pute through the let­ter dated 11 may 2015 (no­ti­fy­ing him of his sus­pen­sion)?

“Sev­enth; are you aware that mr Lephatšoe (Di­rec­tor of Prep) also wrote a let­ter to in­form me about my sus­pen­sion yet I have not re­ceived any let­ter of my sus­pen­sion from the em­ployer?

“eighth; are you aware that with your let­ter dated 5 June 2015 you have ac­tu­ally blocked my op­por­tu­nity to live, such that the bank, which ought to of­fer me a m150 000 loan, has since dis­missed my ap­pli­ca­tion?

“Ninth; would I be wrong to sue you and your of­fice for block­ing my chances of re­ceiv­ing the m150 000 and claim it from your pocket?”

mr Tšehlana con­cluded his let­ter by giv­ing ms Liphoto a seven-day dead­line “from the day you re­ceive this let­ter, fail­ing which I will be left with no choice but to in­sti­tute le­gal ac­tion.”

The Le­sotho Times yesterday made re­peated ef­forts to seek com­ment from mr Lephatšoe and ms Liphoto with­out suc­cess, while mr Tšehlana con­firmed the dis­pute with his em­ployer over the loan is­sue.

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