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DISMISSAL OF MR. KELEBONE LEISANYANE AS LESOTHO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (LNDC) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

THE LESOTHO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION IS A GOVERNMENT PARASTATAL UNDER THE MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY. THE CORPORATION IS AN INVESTMENT ARM FOR THE MINISTRY AND IS MANDATED TO INITIATE, PROMOTE AND FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF MANUFACTURING AND PROCESSING INDUSTRIES, MINING AND COMMERCE IN A MANNER CALCULATED TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF INCOME AND EMPLOYMENT IN LESOTHO. THE CORPORATIONS KEY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CONTRIBUTE TO NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT AND THIS CAN/IS AND OR ACHIEVED UNDER THE STEWARDSHIP OF A CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

ON THE 17TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2017 THE MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DISMISSED THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FROM THE EMPLOY OF THE CORPORATION. THIS DECISION BY THE MINISTER WAS PURSUANT TO THE ADVICE BY THE LNDC BOARD OF DIRECTORS AS DIRECTED BY THE LNDC ACT. THIS WAS AFTER THE CEO WAS FOUND GUILTY OF SIX (6) OUT OF NINE (9) CHARGES PREFERED AGAINST HIM BY THE BOARD.

AN INDEPENDENT PANEL WAS APPOINTED TO ENQUIRE INTO THE ALLEGED INDISCIPLINE BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER COMPOSED OF TWO LAWYERS OF REPUTE AND A HUMAN RESOURCES PRACTITIONER. THEY MADE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE BOARD AND THE BOARD IN TURN MADE THE NECESSARY RECOMMENDATION TO THE MINISTER.

THE CHARGES AS PREFERED AGAINS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE WERE AS FOLLOWS:-

  1. GROSS NEGLIGENCE

IN THAT ON OR ABOUT THE PERIOD COVERING OCTOBER 2015 TO 18TH AUGUST 2016 AT OR NEAR THE LNDC PREMISES, IN THE DISTRICT OF MASERU, THE CEO CONCEALED INFORMATION THAT HE, ACTING ON BEHALF OF LNDC, WAS NEGOTIATING WITH MOLETSANE ESTATE (PTY) LTD IN RELATION TO ACQUISITION  OF LNDC’S PROPERTY THROUGH A LONG TERM SUBLEASE, BEING PLOT NUMBERS 12292-1086 AND 12292-1087, FOR AN AUTOMATICALLY RENEWABLE PERIOD OF 52 YEARS WITHOUT INFORMING THE BOARD OF THE RECEIPT OF THE INFORMATION AND CONTINUING TO NEGOTIATE WITH MOLETSANE ESTATE (PTY) LTD AND CONCLUDING SUBLEASE AGREEMENTS. HE DID SO FULLY AWARE OR WHEN HE OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN AWARE THAT HE OUGHT TO HAVE INFORMED THE BOARD AND SOUGHT ITS APPROVAL BEFORE CONCLUDING THE SUBLEASE AGREEMENTS.

VERDICT:      HE WAS FOUND GUILTY AS CHARGED

  1. MATERIAL BREACH OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT, THE LNDC ACT AS AMENDED AND LNDC GUIDELINES FOR ALLOCATION OF LAND; -

 IN THAT HE BREACHED CLAUSE 3 OF HIS EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT, SECTION 8 OF THE LNDC ACT 1990 AS AMENDED AND LNDC GUIDELINES FOR ALLOCATION OF LAND AND BUILDINGS CLAUSE 2.1.1 READ WITH 2.1.3 IN THAT ON OR AROUND THE 15TH NOVEMBER 2015 AT OR NEAR LNDC IN THE DISTRICT OF MASERU, HE CONCLUDED AND ENTERED INTO AN AUTOMATICALLY RENEWABLE SUBLEASE AGREEMENT FOR 52 YEARS WITHOUT OBTAINING APPROVAL OF THE BOARD TO ENTER INTO THE SAID LONG TERM AGREEMENT WHILE HE KNEW, OR ALTERNATIVELY OUGHT TO HAVE KNOWN, THAT THE PROPERTY WAS WORTH AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF TWO HUNDRED MILLION (M200 000 000.00) AND HE COULD NOT TRANSACT IT WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL OF THE BOARD.

VERDICT:      HE WAS FOUND GUILTY AS CHARGED

  1. DERELICTION OF DUTY AND/OR INCOMPETENCE

IN THAT ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 2015 AT OR NEAR LNDC PREMISES, LNDC CENTRE IN THE DISTRICT OF MASERU, THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FAILED OR DERELICTLY NEGLECTED TO SUBMIT THE BUDGET FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2016/2017 WITHIN A PERIOD OF THREE (3) MONTHS PRIOR TO THE END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR AS PER REGULATION 5.2 OF LNDC FINANCIAL REGULATIONS. INSTEAD HE SUBMITTED THE BUDGET ONE DAY, OR ALTERNATIVELY SEVEN DAYS, PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR.

VERDICT: HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY

  1.  GROSS INSURBORDINATION

IN THAT WHILE HE WAS AWARE, ALTERNATIVELY HE OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN AWARE THAT MR. MAJAKATHATA MOKOENA-THAKHISI WAS NO LONGER THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD OF THE LNDC PER THE LETTER OF THE MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DATED THE 10TH MAY 2016 AND THE LEGAL NOTICE NO. 53 OF 2016 DATED THE 27TH MAY 2016, HE SOUGHT APPROVAL OF THE BUDGET FROM MR. MAJAKATHATA MOKOENA-THAKHISI WHEN SUCH APPROVAL OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN SOUGHT FROM THE BOARD OF LNDC AND HIS ACT OF GROSS INSURBORDINATION CAUSED FINANCIAL HARM TO THE LNDC IN THAT THERE ARE SALARY INCREMENTS EFFECTED FROM THE 1ST DAY OF APRIL 2016 CONTRARY TO THE BOARD'S RESOLUTION AND THE PRACTICAL EFFECT BEING THAT:

  1. THE CEO APPROPRIATED A 4.8% SALARY INCREASE ACROSS THE BOARD TO EMPLOYEES OF THE CORPORATION, WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD;
  1. HE APPROVED BOTH THE CAPITAL AND RECURRENT BUDGET OF THE CORPORATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD

VERDICT: HE WAS FOUND GUILTY AS CHARGED

  1. DISHONESTY AND MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION OF FACTS

IN THAT HE DISHONESTLY AND MATERIALLY MISREPRESENTED THE FACTS IN THAT ON OR AROUND 30TH MAY 2016 PER LETTER DATED 30TH MAY 2016 WRITTEN TO THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, HE DISPOSED THAT:

  1. “THE BOARD WAS IN PRINCIPLE SATISFIED WITH THE PLANNED BUDGET AND PLANNED ACTIVITIES FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR” AND
  2. “LNDC WOULD BE OPERATING WITHOUT APPROVED BUDGET UNDOUBTEDELY THE SURVIVAL OF THE LNDC WOULD INEVITABLY REACH ITS CRITICAL PATH VERY SOON”

YET HE KNEW AND WAS FULLY AWARE THAT THE AUDIT AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HAD RAISED SUSTANTIAL QUERIES OF WHICH INCLUDED:  

  1. A HEAD COUNT FREEZE ON ALL POSITIONS TO BE CREATED BY LNDC.
  2. SIGNFICANT AMENDMENTS TO THE PROPOSED BUDGET
  3. THE BOARD IN ITS SITTING OF THE 30TH MARCH 2016, HAD MADE A RESOLUTION TO TEMPORARILY AND PROVISIONALLY APPROVE THAT ÄLL BUDGET LINES OF CAPEX NATURE BE HELD IN ABEYANCE UNTIL FINAL APPROVAL BY THE BOARD WITH A CAVEAT THAT MANAGEMENT BE ALLOWED TO SPEND RECURRENT BUDGET EQUAL TO THE SAME AMOUNT SPENT IN THE LAST FINANCIAL YEAR SAME PERIOD TO ALLOW THE DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS TO RUN SMOOTHLY.

VERDICT: HE WAS FOUND GUILTY AS CHARGED

  1. CORRUPTION

IN THAT THE CEO GAVE A CORRUPT PREFERENCE TO MOLETSANE OVER OTHER POTENTIAL DEVELOPERS BY FAILING TO PUBLICLY INVITE OTHER