THE Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) board has suspended its Chief Executive Officer Kelebone Leisanyane for alleged maladministration.
The move came hardly two months after Mr Leisanyane successfully challenged his suspension in May this year by Trade and Industry Minister Joshua Setipa in the High Court.
At the time, Mr Setipa had suspended both Mr Leisanyane and the board “to allow for a restructuring exercise” of the LNDC, which is government’s parastatal charged with implementing the country’s industrial development policies and marketing Lesotho as an attractive investment location.
However, the board rejected the suspension arguing the move was not justified.
According to sources privy to the matter, Mr Leisanyane was being accused of requesting then Trade and Industry Principal Secretary Majakathata Mokoena-Thakhisi to approve the LNDC’s annual budget while the board was suspended. Mr Mokoena-Thakhisi has since been reshuffled to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
The sources said the approval of the budget without the board’s input was a contravention of the corporation’s operational regulations.
Mr Leisanyane, the sources said, was also accused of failing to follow proper procedures in leasing out a Sethaleng-sa-Mopapa plot to a prominent businessman who is also a politician.
In a statement issued on Tuesday this week, the LNDC said it decided to suspend Mr Leisanyane after “identifying performance concerns”.
“The LNDC shareholder through the LNDC board of directors has identified performance concerns pertaining to management of the corporation and fulfillment of its mandate under the stewardship of the current chief executive officer – Mr Kelebone Leisanyane,” reads part of the statement.
“The identified concerns warrant unhindered determination of the chief executive officer’s competence in steering LNDC ship.
“Against this backdrop, the corporation’s board of directors has resolved to suspend the chief executive officer pending the necessary determination.”
The corporation also reassured its various stakeholders its operations would continue unhindered.
“The LNDC Board of Directors reassure all the corporation’s stakeholders that day to day operations and business at LNDC shall continue unhindered.
“Stakeholders and the public will be informed of the developments once investigations on the identified concerns are concluded.”
Mr Leisanyane confirmed his suspension in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week.
“I can confirm that I have been suspended as LNDC chief executive officer and I received my disciplinary charges,” Mr Leisanyane said.
“I however cannot comment on this matter any further as I have consulted my lawyers who are handling this matter.”
Mr Leisanyane, who is formerly Loti Brick managing director took over the helm of the LNDC in December 2014. He replaced Mr Setipa, who left the LNDC on 30 April 2014 after a bitter fallout with the Board over a number of issues, among them alleged maladministration.