Lesotho’s suspends Health Director General as COVID-19 cases escalate

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By Nicole Tau

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health’s Director-General Dr. Nyane Letsie was suspended from office with immediate effect for alleged “deliberate and habitual underperformance”.

According to her suspension letter, penned by Acting Principal Secretary Lesimole Moletsane, Letsie has allegedly been consistently underperformed in her duties and responsibilities as Director-General of Health Services and has been suspended on full salary payment until further notice.

Part of the suspension letter reads: “Please be informed that you should immediately hand over the keys to your office to the Principal Secretary (acting).

“During your suspension, you should neither interfere with any matters of the Ministry of Health nor enter the premises of the Ministry of Health or any health facilities with the purpose of carrying out any duties. However, you will be allowed to enter such premises only with the permission of the Principal Secretary (acting).”

This is not the first time Letsie is handed a suspension letter. In a letter dated 24 December 2018 she was accused of abusing her power and sending an unqualified patient to India under cancer and renal patients’ treatment program.

Letsie is additionally accused of negligence for failure to inform her superiors at the Ministry about medical doctor grievances that had been reported to her office and later led to medical doctors’ strike on 14 – 24 December.

Moletsane, when contacted for comment confirmed validity of the letter whose copy was widely circulated on social media but was unable to further comment on reasons surrounding Letsie’s suspension.

Moletsane in the suspension letter said Letsie’s suspension from office will be in effect until his investigations into her habitual and deliberate underperformance are complete and without her interference.

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