‘MISA Le­sotho lead­er­ship in­com­pe­tent’

Sunday Express - - NEWS - ‘Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Me­dia In­sti­tute of South­ern Africa (MISA) has ac­cused its Le­sotho chap­ter’s Na­tional Govern­ing coun­cil (NGC) of gross in­com­pe­tence and lack of lead­er­ship and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance.

This came out in a damn­ing 2017 re­port ti­tled So this is Democ­racy: State of Me­dia Free­dom in South­ern Africa.

The re­port al­leges that “MISA-Le­sotho has faced chal­lenges of poor gov­er­nance which were ev­i­dent since March 2017 when it elected a board that lacked lead­er­ship and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance” which rocked the or­gan­i­sa­tion with scan­dals.

It sin­gles out the dis­re­pute brought into the or­gan­i­sa­tion by the deputy chair­per­son, Nkoale Tšoana and the deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral, Mr Sech­aba Mokhethi, who al­legedly led par­tic­i­pants to boy­cott a work­shop de­mand­ing per diem.

In the in­ci­dent, Mr Tšoana and Mr Mokhethi are ac­cused of in­cit­ing 12 out of 42 par­tic­i­pants to boy­cott a MISA work­shop cit­ing their dis­con­tent over lack of al­lowances as the work­shop had not bud­geted for the stipends.

Mr Mokhethi de­clined to com­ment say­ing that the mat­ter would be bet­ter off han­dled by the Chair­per­son Mr Boi­tumelo Koloi while Tšoana could not be reached on his mo­bile phone.

The re­port al­ludes to con­flict of in­ter­est by NGC mem­bers, pur­port­edly in ref­er­ence to the for­ma­tion of the MNN In­ves­tiga­tive Cen­ter of Jour­nal­ism (MNNCIJ) whose founders are also part of the NGC.

“Con­flict of in­ter­est among NGC mem­ber, in fact a group­ing of some of the mem­bers had formed an ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion that cap­i­talised on gaps in MISA Le­sotho pro­gram­ming,” the re­port reads.

It fur­ther in­di­cates that NGC also de­manded “for sit­ting al­lowances for un­con­sti­tu­tional meet­ings held with­out col­lab­o­ra­tion or knowl­edge of the sec­re­tar­iat. By act­ing in this man­ner, the NGC placed MISA Le­sotho at risk and the or­gan­i­sa­tion was there­fore not likely to get sup­port in driv­ing the me­dia re­forms agenda”.

How­ever, one of MISA mem­bers who is also a found­ing mem­ber of MNNCIJ, Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane, said the re­port “leaves a bad taste for any­one who has in­ter­ests of jour­nal­ists at heart”.

“I am dis­heart­ened to say the least. In as much as the re­port does not sin­gle out the name of our cen­ter, we have heard that MISA is very un­com­fort­able with our ex­is­tence, but we never wanted to be­lieve this be­cause we en­gaged MISA from the in­cep­tion stage of this es­tab­lish­ment,” said Nt­sukun­yane.

“The is­sue of con­flict of in­ter­est by some of our mem­bers who are also in the MISA NGC is also not true, be­cause we started op­er­a­tions long be­fore the NGC was elected.

“If there are is­sues, I be­lieve there are bet­ter ways to deal with them and this is un­for­tu­nate if MISA sud­denly re­gards us as their com­peti­tor. We are in no way in com­pe­ti­tion with them and we did not iden­tify any gaps as the re­port im­plies.

“This is un­for­tu­nate if at all the re­port is in­deed re­fer­ring to our cen­ter. We are MISA mem­bers and we be­lieve that some­body has to be taken to task over this re­port.” con­cluded Nt­sukun­yane.

MISA Chair­per­son, Boi­tumelo Koloi, said the re­port painted a bad pic­ture for the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Ad­mit­tedly, the re­port is bad and paints a bad pic­ture about the or­gan­i­sa­tion, a mat­ter which we are not go­ing to sit back and just wish away. We are al­ready work­ing on it as the NGC,” Mr Koloi said. “Un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, the re­port ought to have been adopted and en­dorsed by the NGC to­gether with the Sec­re­tar­iat, but in this case the sec­re­tar­iat did it uni­lat­er­ally. “It was not even proof read or amended where there ought to be any amend­ments, it was just passed with­out the con­sent of the NGC and this is a re­port which might bring neg­a­tive reper­cus­sions on the run­ning of the or­gan­i­sa­tion es­pe­cially in lur­ing spon­sors. We need to do some­thing about it be­fore much dam­age is done. “I be­lieve what was done can be re­versed be­fore much harm is done.” MISA Di­rec­tor Mr Tsebo Matšasa could not be reached for a com­ment un­til the time of print.

MISA deputy Chair­per­son Nkoale Tšoana.

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