The Minister of Water Nkaku Kabi has ignored the suspension of the Water and Sewage Company (WASCO)â€™s Board of Directors after an alleged act of corruption was leveled against it.
Earlier this month the Board of WASCO was connected to corruption and procurement irregularities after appointing the South African-based investigating company, Quantum Advisory Services and one Dominic Metlae as investigations leader to probe the suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Futho Hoohlo who was iced a fortnight ago pending his own alleged misconduct in the company.
It was revealed in the replying statement of Hoohlo on why he could not be suspended pending the investigation of misconduct accusations pinned against him, and that the probing company has been appointed to stage investigations against him.
Hoohlo divulged that the Board did not follow procurement processes as they allotted the probing company without checking if there is enough money that can pay the selected company on the task that has been assigned as per the policy of the company.
The matter without delay was reported by Hoohlo to the police officers who were at the time, attached to the premises of WASCO, and whose mandate included inter alia to guard and put under the microscopic eye, the irregularities and corruption allegations that involve financial lootings.
The Board however, accused Hoohlo for not following the right procedures when reporting the alleged corruption activities. That also had the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was inked on July 31, 2021 between the company and Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) terminated by the Board. The treaty between the two entities stipulated that WASCO will â€œprovide the fullest assistance within the framework of the MOU and as authorised by the law in relation to the co-operation and assistance in enforcement actions and investigations that are aimed at fighting vandalism, illegal connections and or any crime against WASCO, whether perpetuated by members of the public or WASCOâ€™s own staff.â€
Yesterday, this publication approached Kabi who is an overseer of the Board of Directors by virtue of being Minister of Water to answer why the Board could not be suspended as there are fraud assertions against the nine membered Board but his phone rang unanswered, instead he dropped the call a couple of times until he picked the call without talking or saying a word.
This reporter sent him a text via Whatsapp which he â€˜blue-tickedâ€™ and did not react to the question of why the Board of Directors cannot be suspended until the corruption allegations have been cleared.
It is a norm per the companyâ€™s policy that when one is suspected of any irregularities that require investigations, that they should be suspended to let the smooth run of the probing.
According to regulation 62 read with regulation 63 of the WASCO Human Resources Regulations 2017, an employee of WASCO can be suspended when investigations are being conducted into his alleged misconduct.
The drama at the water company comes after the former CEO the late Lehlohonolo Manamolela was suspended with the same accusations leveled against Hoohlo and met his untimely demise in 2019 during his suspension.
Approached for a comment last night, Chairperson of the Board, Chabeli Ramolise also declined to comment stating that he was in a meeting and will comment on another day.
â€œI am in a meeting, I will talk to you tomorrow,â€ he said.
Hoohlo is currently suspended alongside Manger Contracts Administration, Issac Sebonyane, Supply Chain Manager, Pulane â€˜Mafumane Kubu and the Chief Internal Auditor.