LCA officials quit jobs to avoid probe
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By Mamello Mosaefane
Lesotho Communication Authority (LCA)’s Chief Finance Officer ‘Masebolaoa Sebolaoa and Finance Manager ‘Maseoli Sekoati recently quit their job at the start of investigations into the alleged mismanagement of the authority’s funds.
Chief Finance Officer ‘Masebolaoa Sebolaoa, Finance Manager ‘Maseoli Sekoati and the Human Resource Manager ‘Mathabo Sebilo allegedly mismanaged the authority’s funds meant to support staff emergency loans.
The three officers said to have swindled money in cases of staff emergency loans as way back as 2000 when the authority was established.
LCA’s press statement dated 26th August 2020 partly reads; “Ms Sebolaoa and Ms Sekoati both registered chartered accountants with Lesotho Institute of Accountants and Mrs Sebilo began to neglect and deliberately bypass the procedures in order to access the funds of the authority without authorisation”.
The authority’s board of directors resolved to take the officers to disciplinary hearing for dishonesty and misappropriation of funds.
“Ms Sekoati who has been overseeing the finances of the authority for almost 9 years tendered her resignation with immediate effect on 13th August 2020 to avoid disciplinary proceedings that was scheduled to be held of the same day.
“Ms Sebolaoa who has been overseeing the authority’s finances for 19 years also resigned with immediate effect on the morning of 18th August 2020 to avoid disciplinary proceedings scheduled on 19th August 2020,” notes the statement.
‘Mathabo Sebilo, who took over the human resource function in 2017 from Sebolaoa and Sekoati, was found guilty by internal investigations of abusing staff and demanding that they should pay her 10 % of the value of loans she assisted them to take.
The statement discloses disciplinary inquiry against Sebilo revealed specific counts of maladministration of loans by Sebilo, Sekoati and Sebolaoa where they acted together to avoid appropriate authorisation procedure and unduly access of funds.
Among the reasons of resignation for Sekoati and Sebolaoa are the on-going investigations into various misconducts of misappropriation of funds and falsification of financial records of the authority relating to the undue payment of various officers in 2017/18, including that of the former CEO, Mokela and former acting CEO, Moshoeshoe Ntaote.
Ntaote, according to the statement, has since submitted his resignation with immediate effect to avoid disciplinary proceedings that were scheduled for 25 August 2020.
The auditor general’s office will conduct its annual audit of the financed of LCA to identify and correct any procedures that may lead to high risk of losses being incurred by the Authority. The same office has tirelessly conducted independent audits to find out about the already identified irregularities.