IEC bosses sue government

IEC bosses sue government

MASERU – IEC commissioners are now suing the courts in a desperate bid to arm-twist the government to renew their contracts.
The three commissioners have been clinging on to their positions three months after the initial five-year contract expired.
In that time they have suspended the Director of Elections Dr Letholetseng Ntsike for allegedly refusing to pay their allowances on grounds that they don’t have contracts.
Now the commissioners have filed an urgent High Court application seeking to compel the government to renew their contracts.

Their argument is that their contracts should be automatically renewed because the government did not tell them to vacate office when their initial contracts expired.
They argue that they have a legitimate expectation to get new contracts that will see them remain in office until January 2024.
In papers filed this week former Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla, Dr Makase Nyaphisi and Advocate ’Mamosebi Pholo argue that the new contract should be based on terms and conditions similar to the previous contracts.
The want Law Minister, Council of State, Budget Controller at the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Finance restrained and interdicted from advising King Letsie III to appoint new commissioners pending determination of the application.

They also want an order declaring their appointed Acting Director of Elections, Lebohang Bulane, as the Chief Accounting Officer of the IEC.
They also ask the High Court to declare their decisions of not leaving the office from January 8, 2019 as legal decisions and acts capable of being made or taken by members of the IEC.
They ask the court to order the government to allow them to continue in the office as IEC commissioners pending legal measures by appropriate people.
The application was lodged following termination of their contract as commissioners of IEC.
The three commissioners are still clinging to their jobs nearly four months after their contracts expired.
They say they are not leaving as yet because they are waiting for the employer to renew their contracts.

But while their positions remain uncertain the commissioners fired Dr Letholetseng Ntsike whom they accused of defying their orders.
They replaced her with Bulane, the IEC’s IT Manager.
Dr Ntsike is now on suspension after she refused to obey their orders to pay their benefits.
The commissioners became livid after Dr Ntsike told them she would not pay their benefits until they have contracts or at least letters from the Council of State, the appointing authority, confirming that their contracts are on the way and they should remain in office.

Senate Sekotlo

 

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