Sus­pended LRA bosses ap­proach DCEO

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

Fof

IVE sus­pended se­nior man­agers

the Le­sotho Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (LRA) have asked the Direc­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) to in­ves­ti­gate the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against them by the au­thor­ity’s work­ers’ union.

The five se­nior man­age­ment of­fi­cers are Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Man­gan­gole Tsikinyane, Chief Plan­ning and Moderni­sa­tion Of­fi­cer Idia Pe­nane, Chief Le­gal and Pol­icy Of­fi­cer and Act­ing Board Sec­re­tary Seth Macheli, Head of Lit­i­ga­tion Mout­loatsi Lich­aba and Com­mis­sioner of En­force­ment, Reale­boha Mathaba.

They were sus­pended from work on 7 March 2018 af­ter the au­thor­ity’s work­ers’ union, pre­sented the LRA board with al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial and gov­er­nance im­pro­pri­ety in­clud­ing the mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion and al­leged pil­fer­ing of mil­lions of LRA funds. The man­agers have fu­ri­ously re­jected the al­le­ga­tions and chal­lenged their sus­pen­sions in the courts.

They have since de­cided to write to the DCEO re­quest­ing the anti-graft body to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against them be­cause they be­lieve they are in­no­cent and such an in­ves­ti­ga­tion would ex­on­er­ate them.

It is not clear why the man­agers have de­cided to in­volve the DCEO while at the same time pur­su­ing court ac­tion.

They none­the­less state a DCEO in­ves­ti­ga­tion would re­store pub­lic con­fi­dence in the LRA.

Ad­vo­cate Mathaba separately wrote to the DCEO on the 25th of this month, stat­ing among other things that, “spe­cific al­le­ga­tions against me are to the ef­fect that I am on the for­mer LRA boss Thabo Let­jama’s pay­roll and that I was of­fered a con­sul­tancy con­tract with­out fol­low­ing due pro­cesses”.

“It is fur­ther al­leged that I had re­signed from the em­ploy of the LRA but that I was later re-em­ployed due to my cor­rupt re­la­tion­ship with the then Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral.

“In as much as the al­le­ga­tions… that have pre­cip­i­tated my sus­pen­sion are spu­ri­ous, I wish for these al­le­ga­tions to be in­ves­ti­gated and proper ac­tion be taken in or­der to re­store pub­lic con­fi­dence and trust in the LRA,” Adv Mathaba writes.

He fur­ther pledges his full co­op­er­a­tion in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing ac­cess to his per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to fa­cil­i­tate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

His four sus­pended col­leagues also penned a joint let­ter to the DCEO yes­ter­day, where they “sub­mit our­selves to your or­gan­i­sa­tion for due in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial im­pro­pri­ety al­le­ga­tions made against us by the LRA Staff Union (LERASU) and for which it would ap­pear the LRA Board has de­cided to sus­pend us from duty pend­ing a foren­sic au­dit”.

“We con­sider the al­le­ga­tions se­ri­ous enough to merit your at­ten­tion as the statu­tory body es­tab­lished with the spe­cific man­date to re­ceive and in­ves­ti­gate any com­plaints al­leg­ing cor­rup­tion in any pub­lic body.”

Apart from clear­ing their names, the quar­tet fur­ther state that a DCEO probe is nec­es­sary to re­store pub­lic con­fi­dence in the LRA “whose im­age must nec­es­sar­ily have been crit­i­cally im­paired as a re­sult of those al­le­ga­tions”.

The five re­cently pe­ti­tioned the High Court to or­der their re­in­state­ment, claim­ing their sus­pen­sions were un­law­ful. See Feed­back Page.

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