The Minister of Trade and Industry, Tefo Mapesela, has called on the Government Secretary (GS), Moahloli Mphaka, to discipline his principal secretary (PS), Thebe Mokoatle, for alleged insubordination relating to the latter’s use of a government vehicle in defiance of a cabinet directive.
Mr Mapesela said he approached the GS Mphaka to deal with Mr Mokoatle after the latter allegedly caused commotion at the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) building on Tuesday by blocking the entrance with his official vehicle.
Mr Mapesela and the PS’ offices are located at the LNDC building and the latter blocked the entrance to the building with his vehicle after the minister had ordered security personnel to prevent from leaving with the vehicle as soon as he entered the building with it.
Mr Mapesela recently narrated how his fall-out with Mr Mokoatle began after they took office in the aftermath of the 3 June 2017 snap national elections which ushered in the four party coalition government that is led by Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane.
“When I took over at the ministry I commissioned an internal audit because I had my suspicions that there was misuse of public funds and I asked Mr Mokoatle to take over the exercise after he was appointed,” Mr Mapesela said, adding, “But up to now he has not given me a report on the matter”.
He said the insubordination continued after the cabinet made a decision that the PSs should stop using the Toyota Prado model cars as they were expensive to maintain.
He said even after he informed Mr Mokoatle of the cabinet decision and further advised him to seek the Minister of Finance’s permission to sell the car, “He never wrote that letter and continued using the car”.
“I told him that he was the only PS driving a Prado vehicle and that this was in defiance of the cabinet.
“So I then told the security personnel to ensure that once he arrived at work with the car on Tuesday, they should not allow him to leave with it.
“Upon hearing about this, he left the car at the entrance, with the windows open and the vehicle was blocking the entrance so that no one could drive in and out of the premises.”
Mr Mphaka confirmed that the minister had asked him to handle the matter, saying, “I am already dealing with it”.
Mr Mokoatle was however, unavailable to comment on the matter as he was not reachable on his mobile phone.