M10 million pay for wool and mohair growers
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By Pulane Chaka
Small Business and Cooperatives Minister Thesele Maseribane, has said more than 2000 wool and mohair growers will finally be paid what they were owed by the Maseru Dawning.
Maseribane told parliament that wool and mohair vendors were owed approximately M10, 350, 766.10 and that the number of vendors owed is 2711.
He also added that there are 36 vendors that had been partially paid, while 1176 vendors had been paid in full by Maseru Dawning.
Maseru Dawning is a company owned by Stone Shi and operated as the auctioneer of wool and mohair farmers from the Thaba-Bosiu based Lesotho Wol and Mohair Centre owned by Shi in partnership with the Lesotho Wool and Mohair Growers Association.
Upon taking over the sale of the Lesotho wool and mohair through an elaborate corrupt scheme devised to assist Shi’s business to the disadvantage of the farmers who had not yet agree to having their trade taken away from their long-time auctioneer BKB to a Lesotho based Chinese who connected to ‘exclusive’ Chinese market many farmers cried foul play arguing their payments were less than anticipated while others were never paid by Shi.
Maseribane went on to say that the he was told by the Accountant General that vendor pay-outs would soon be underway, which will be a relief for vendors who have been fighting over their lack of payment by Shi, since 2018.
Shi is known to have rejected help from the government in 2019, while now Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro was Finance Minister.
Shi was stating that his company had enough money in its account with the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) to pay off all the vendors.
The claims made by Shi were, according to a media statement by CBL sent out at the time, without merit as the CBL deals only with the finances of the Government of Lesotho and does not have accounts for private entities, including Maseru Dawning.