TWO Lesotho College of Education (LCE) lecturers were suspended on Friday last week for alleged misconduct.
The two are Mpholo Leoisa and Mzimkulu Faku, who are also secretary general and president of the teachers’ training college’s Staff Union (LECESU), respectively.
According to Mr Faku, the suspensions came after LCE Rector, John Oliphant had written them identical letters on 9 September asking why they should not be suspended for their “unruly behaviour”.
Dr Oliphant’s letter reads: “The unruly behaviour that has been shown by yourself as a person as well as secretary general of LECESU, have in fact, left me with no option but to enquire why the College Management may not suspend you. This is in line with provisions of the Lesotho College of Education Code of Conduct Part 3 Section 7. I am writing this letter asking you in earnest to respond to me within three working days from when you receive this letter showing cause why I may not suspend you.”
According to Mr Leoisa, they had asked Dr Oliphant the meaning of “unruly behaviour” in their similar response, and sought further clarity on the issue.
“I am in receipt of your letter dated 9 September. I believe you reserve the right to express your intentions about the actions you contemplate to take in this institution you lead and have no qualms about it. However, before I show cause why I may not be suspended, I humbly seek your assistance on the following:
“Firstly, what is meant by the so-called unruly behaviour I am alleged to have indulged in as a person as well as secretary of LECESU? Secondly, when, where and on whom was the alleged behaviour committed? Finally, how do you delineate my so-called unruly behaviour as committed by me as a person from that of me as a secretary of LECESU?
“I want to assure you of my maximum support and cooperation in your quest to decisively rid this institution of any semblance of unruly behaviour irrespective of who commits it if and only if all the points raised are clarified,” reads Mr Leoisa’s response, dated 12 September 2014.
However, after the response, the two men were slapped with identical suspension letters, which read: “I have noted your response to my letter written to you dated 9 September with the heading: Intention to suspend you pending investigation.
“In consideration of your response, I am writing to advise you that you are hereby suspended on full pay with effect from today, 26 September 2014, 4:30pm. The suspension is made in order for the College to conduct an investigation into an allegation of misconduct against you as a person and as a member of the LECESU.
“You shall not attend your place of work other than for the purpose of attending a disciplinary hearing or any other reason Management may call you for. You shall not contact any other employees, suppliers or customers of the college, except your representative in any disciplinary proceedings, without the college Management’s consent.”
Meanwhile, Mr Leoisa told the Lesotho Times: “I suspect we were suspended because we recently petitioned the Minister of Education, where we listed our complaints to her, including how this college is being mismanaged.
“We suspect this is why we have been suspended even though what we were doing, was in the best interest of the college. However, we can’t be sure of this since we will only know after the investigation.”
Efforts to get a comment from Dr Oliphant were fruitless yesterday.