… pushed out of office by police after resisting suspension
The Director of Elections Dr. Letholetseng Ntsike has been suspended from her official duties effective from Monday. She was pushed out of her office by policemen after she objected the suspension letter.
It is alleged that Dr Ntsike ceased to take and implement instructions
from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) commissioners on grounds that
their time in office had already lapsed and therefore the commissioners were
not eligible to give instructions or entitled to IEC benefits.
According to the letter written to Dr Ntsike from the IEC’s Chairperson Justice Mahapela Lehohla dated March 4, the commission found the import of her memo dated February 20, 2019 as nothing but a serious insubordination especially when they had a discussion on the matter on February 19 where they tried to explain to her that they are still in office and their employer is aware of that.
The letter adds that notwithstanding this, she wrote the aforementioned memo in which she vehemently refused to take the Commissions’ instructions saying this resulted in two officers attached to the office of the Chairperson not being paid their salaries for two months and Commissioners’ cellphones being cut because she could not effect payment on the usage of the same.
It indicates therefore that the Commission has decided to take disciplinary action against her and suspend her from her official duties on the ground of the aforesaid insubordination with immediate effect adding that the suspension will remain in force until the matter has been finalised.
The IEC Public Relations Officer Tuoe Hants’í has confirmed that Dr. Ntsike received the letter of suspension.
Before joining the IEC in 2015, Dr. Ntsike was the Director of National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).
Dr Ntsike told Metro in a telephone interview that she is being accused of insubordination by failing to comply with instructions from her bosses. She confirmed she was served with a letter of suspension with full pay after she did not comply with their demands such as claiming per diems for their traveling expenses together with salary payments for their secretaries and drivers, and also failing to give them airtime incentives.
“I was told by Mr Lehohla that they are legally employed by IEC hence why they are entitled to get per diems for their travelling expenses and other relevant benefits. My problem started when I demanded either work contract or Government gazette that supports legitimacy of my bosses’ employment with IEC since I know very well that their contracts have expired and there is no arrangement made for their contracts renewal on my table,” she said.
Asked for comment this week, IEC chairperson, Justice Mahapela Lehohla told Metro: “Yes I have suspended her with immediate effect because of her failure to comply with Commission’s instructions. She was fully aware that what she was doing was insubordination. Anyone who is not willing to comply with his/her bosses instructions should be suspended and leave a space for people willing to comply with Commission’s instructions.”
Asked to confirm if their contracts have expired, Justice Lehohla said that had been explained to the public by the Press Attache in the Prime Minister’s Office, Thabo Thakalekoala that the commissioners will continue in office while the government was busy working on their paper work for contract renewal.
Justice Lehohla confirmed that they were still earning their salaries as commissioners from the government of Lesotho as per Government statutory salaries.