Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

FOR­MER po­lice com­mis­sioner, Khothatso Tšooana, says gov­ern­ment has not dis­cussed his re­tire­ment ben­e­fits with him de­spite gazetting his forced exit on 17 Au­gust 2015.

Mr Tšooana was sent on early re­tire­ment by gov­ern­ment af­ter find­ing him un­fit to hold of­fice.

Among the many charges lev­elled against him, Mr Tšooana was ac­cused of in­com­pe­tence, po­lar­is­ing and politi­cis­ing the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS).

A brief let­ter dated 25 Septem­ber 2014 and is­sued by Act­ing Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary, Em­manuel Le­soma, sim­ply notes: “I en­close here­with for your in­for­ma­tion, a copy of Le­gal No­tice No 64 of 2015, it speaks for it­self.”

How­ever, Mr Tšooana yesterday told the Le­sotho Times he was “dis­ap­pointed” with the way gov­ern­ment had treated him.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing for the Of­fice of the GS to back­date my re­tire­ment to Septem­ber 2014.

“Maybe it was a typ­ing er­ror, but it is still a sur­prise that the gazette dated 17 Au­gust 2015 was only sent to my house five weeks later.

“One must un­der­stand that I am not re­fus­ing to go but I had hoped to be called by the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment author­i­ties to dis­cuss my exit and re­tire­ment ben­e­fits.

“Then again, if it is so dif­fi­cult for them to call me, I had thought the re­tire­ment let­ter from the GS would have de­tails re­gard­ing my re­tire­ment.

“But to my dis­ap­point­ment, I found a one-sen­tence let­ter which does not ad­dress any­thing con­cern­ing my ben­e­fits,” Mr Tšooana said.

“The re­tire­ment age in the po­lice ser­vice is 55 years and an of­fi­cer qual­i­fies for early re­tire­ment at the age of 45 and I am only 38. I don’t qual­ify for re­tire­ment and I had not said I wanted to go.

“It was gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion that I must go. I was hop­ing that they would dis­cuss buy­ing my con­tract out but noth­ing of the sort has hap­pened.”

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from

Mr Le­soma failed yesterday as his mo­bile phone was not reach­able.

Mean­while, Mr Tšooana would not dis­cuss if he had ended his ex­ile fol­low­ing his ap­pear­ance be­fore the SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry at State Li­brary yesterday.

Mr Tšooana fled the coun­try for South Africa in June this year fear­ing for his life, but gave tes­ti­mony be­fore the com­mis­sion in Maseru.

The com­mis­sion was es­tab­lished to probe Le­sotho’s in­sta­bil­ity and fol­lowed the killing of for­mer army com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao, by the mil­i­tary three months ago.

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