THE Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA)’s human resources manager ‘Mathabo Sebilo has been charged with misconduct.
Ms Sebilo stands accused of sharing a confidential correspondence from her bosses indicating their intention to haul her before a disciplinary hearing for various misconduct charges.
According to LCA sources, she is accused of campaigning for the provision of staff loans by the authority despite the decision by the chief executive officer ‘Mamarame Matela to stop such loans.
The sources said the personal loans have always been issued to staff since the inception of the LCA in 2000. However, Ms Matela, a CEO with a banking and legal background, has questioned the unprocedural manner in which the loans have been issued.
Sources said she expressed reservations about the fact that some of the human resources personnel who have been authorising the loans also apply for the same loans, vet their own applications and approve their own applications for the loans.
The sources said Ms Matela therefore ordered the issuance of the loans to be stopped until proper corporate governance procedures were put in place “to stop some employees from being the adjudicators in their own applications”.
But it appears Ms Sebilo has been waging a campaign in favour of the issuance of the loans in defiance of the directive by Ms Matela who has been at the helm of the LCA since last year. She is accused of various other acts of misconduct including gross negligence in the conduct of her duties.
Her relationship with Ms Matela was strained even further after she allegedly shared confidential correspondence from her boss with other employees regarding the disciplinary hearing she has been summoned to attend.
This resulted in her being unceremoniously ejected from the LCA premises this week when she showed up for work.
Part of the letter laying out the charges against her states that, “You intentionally and maliciously shared confidential correspondence addressed to yourself relating to disciplinary proceedings contemplated against you thereby compromising your employment relationship of trust”.
“On or about 22 July 2020, you engaged in conduct harmful to the image of the Authority by creating the impression to staff that the disciplinary action was being taken against you for acting as a hero and providing loans to staff only to be persecuted by the Authority for acting for the benefit of the staff, which is fallacious and calculated to mislead.
“These utterances were discourteous and designed to shift accountability for your misconduct to fellow employees and incite industrial action against the Authority.
“Your actions were aimed at destabilising staff, compromising the smooth running of the Authority and inciting disruptions by malevolently attributing the disciplinary process to the loans staff received.”
Ms Sebilo is also accused of gross negligence in the conduct of her duties after she was instructed to scan and record temperature readings of the staff as part of precautionary measures to ensure wellness and the early detection of symptoms of Covid-19.
“While executing such duties, you abused your position of trust, took unfair advantage of staff and created emotional unrest and exacerbated further panic during a state of emergency arising from the declared increase in the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. You also handed out one document to multiple staff members thus knowingly risking the health and safety of staff,” the letter states.
Contacted for comment, Ms Sebilo said she had been forcefully removed from her office.
“I was forcefully removed from the office and humiliated by my boss who did not even care to give me a letter for the compulsory leave she was sending me on,” Ms Sebilo told this publication.
She referred all questions about the proposed disciplinary hearing against her to the LCA’s public relations manager, Tšiu Tšiu.
Mr Tšiu confirmed that Ms Sebilo had been sent on compulsory leave.
“That is all I can say because the rest of the issues are already before the courts of law and I would rather not comment on them,” Mr Tšiu said.