Zaly faces M16 fraud charges

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

FOR­MER Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Science and Tech­nol­ogy ministry Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (PS) Nonku­l­uleko Zaly on Mon­day ap­peared be­fore the Mag­is­trate’s Court fac­ing charges of fraud and flout­ing pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures when she ac­quired In­for­ma­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy (ICT) equip­ment for the ministry worth M16 mil­lion.

Ms Zaly (52) is ac­cused of al­legedly us­ing her po­si­tion un­law­fully as the Chief Ac­count­ing Of­fi­cer of the ministry by ap­prov­ing the pay­ment of M16 690 233.10 to EOH Mthombo (Pty) Lim­ited com­pany for the up­grade of soft­ware at the ministry’s data cen­tre.

Part of the pre­am­ble to the charges states EOH was awarded the con­tract on 23 April 2014 and “at­tended to the up­grade”.

But on 13 Novem­ber 2014, EOH iden­ti­fied cer­tain ad­di­tional equip­ment nec­es­sary for the up­grade and sub­mit­ted the quo­ta­tion to the ministry in the amount of M16 690 233.10.

The ad­di­tional equip­ment was meant for backup so­lu­tions, re­place­ment of end-of-life equip­ment as well as virus and mal­ware re­moval.

Ms Zaly al­legedly ap­proved the quo­ta­tion with­out fol­low­ing pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures as stated in the Pub­lic Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment and Ac­count­abil­ity Act of 2011 and Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Reg­u­la­tions of 2007.

The charges also state the ministry’s ICT depart­ment re­fused to take de­liv­ery of the equip­ment due to the al­leged in­frac­tion.

Ms Zaly is also al­leged to have “un­law­fully in­structed” var­i­ous peo­ple to take de­liv­ery of the equip­ment “not­with­stand­ing the fact that the pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures had not been fol­lowed”.

Af­ter the said peo­ple also re­fused to com­ply with Ms Zaly’s in­struc­tions, the for­mer PS al­legedly signed the de­liv­ery note on be­half of the ministry.

She is charged with four dif­fer­ent counts re­volv­ing around the same al­le­ga­tions, namely fraud, abuse of func­tion of of­fice, de­lib­er­ately con­tra­ven­ing Pub­lic Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment and Ac­count­abil­ity Act of 2011 and Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Reg­u­la­tions of 2007 as well as in­struct­ing em­ploy­ees to con­tra­vene the Act and Reg­u­la­tions.

In the first count of fraud the for­mer PS is ac­cused of “un­law­fully and de­lib­er­ately” mak­ing false rep­re­sen­ta­tions and/or con­ceal­ing from ministry of­fi­cials the de­tails of the quo­ta­tion.

In count two she is charged un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences Act of 1999 for al­legedly us­ing her po­si­tion un­law­fully to ap­prove the or­der­ing of equip­ment worth M16 mil­lion.

Count three re­lates to al­leged fail­ure to ob­serve the pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tions which stip­u­lates that con­tracts in­volv­ing huge amounts of money should go through a ten­der­ing pro­cess.

In count four, Ms Zaly is ac­cused of mak­ing other peo­ple con­tra­vene the law.

Chief Mag­is­trate ‘Matankiso Nthunya re­leased the for­mer PS on bail on the con­di­tion she paid M3 000 as bail de­posit and gets a per­son to stand as her surety to the amount of M20 000.

Ms Zaly was also or­dered to at­tend re­mands each last Fri­day of the month and ap­pear again in court on 12 Septem­ber 2016.

The for­mer PS was ini­tially fired in Novem­ber 2013 for al­leged in­sub­or­di­na­tion but re­in­stated in Oc­to­ber 2014 fol­low­ing a pro­tracted le­gal bat­tle.

How­ever, she was fired again last year along with other PSS ap­pointed by the pre­vi­ous coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter the elec­tion of the cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili-led ad­min­is­tra­tion.

FOR­MER Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ministry PS Nonku­l­uleko Zaly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.