THERE is no doubt that the liquidators of MKM are faced with a monumental task.
For the next few months, if not years to come, the liquidators will have to sift through thousands of documents and transactions to unravel the mess that MKM had become before it was eventually shut down by the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) in November 2007.
What is clear from the figures made public so far is that MKM is unlikely to be able to fully compensate its investors even if all of its assets are sold.
This is why we believe that the liquidators must immediately go for the directors and founders of the company who clearly benefited from the scheme.
The liquidators must leave no stone unturned in their quest to recover the company’s assets.
It is common knowledge that Simon Thebe-ea-Khale the founder and chief architect of this protracted scam holds some of MKM’s assets in his name.
Hundreds of MKM’s cars are registered in his name, according to a 2007 audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers commissioned by the CBL.
Given this evidence it is highly likely that he could have also used investors’ funds to buy properties in and outside Lesotho.
Or the company might have bought assets and registered them in his name as he did with the cars.
The liquidators must trace and recover these assets so as to pay the investors he fleeced.
The hunt for assets belonging to the other directors must also begin now for they too could have amassed their wealth using investors’ fund.
We cannot rule out this possibility because MKM was an illegal business that had neither proper corporate governance ethics nor accounting systems.
Thebe-ea-Khale and his fellow directors must not be allowed to enjoy their ill-gotten wealth.
The liquidators will be judged on how much they will be able to recover from him and his fellow directors.
But this is not going to be an easy task.
The directors have shown that they can be quite belligerent.
The battery of applications they have brought to the courts over the past three years clearly prove that they will try every trick in the book to either delay the liquidation process or hold on to the assets.
This is why the liquidators must be vigilant.
But the retribution must not end with the attachment of the directors’ assets.
Let us not forget that what happened was a heinous crime and the culprits must be punished.
It worries us that more than three years after the MKM business was declared illegal by the High Court and the Court of Appeal Thebe-ea-Khake and his cahoots are still freely walking the streets of Maseru instead of being arraigned before the courts to face justice.
The evidence is clear.
Thebe-ea-Khale and company were running a pyramid scheme carefully designed to cheat innocent people.
By the time their scam was discovered nearly 400 000 Basotho had lost their monies.
MKM cannot account for the M400 million it received from depositors who invested their monies after being promised unrealistic profits.
Justice, we believe, can only be seen to have been done when their assets have been attached and they are behind bars or at least facing trial.
Elsewhere in the world Thebe-ea-Khale and company would have been wallowing in jail.
We believe the law enforcement agencies in this country have tolerated Thebe-ea-Khale for far too long.