New bid to disband MCC tender panel

New bid to disband MCC tender panel

MASERU – THE government is making moves to disband the Maseru City Council (MCC) tender panel barely a week it was reinstated by a High Court order.
Last week the High Court ruled that Litšoane Litšoane, then Local Government Minister, should restore the panel he disbanded in August.
But yesterday the ministry’s principal secretary, Khothatso Tšooana, asked the panel to justify why it should not be dissolved.

In a letter seen by thepost Tšooana gave the panel until Friday morning to make its representations.
He said the panel was “established unlawfully” because it is not compliant with the Procurement Regulations Act of 2007.
Tšooana said in 2014 the Attorney General advised that the panel did not comply with the Public Financial Management and Accountability Act 2011.
Efforts to contact Tšooana were not successful yesterday.
Litšoane has since been transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture last Thursday.

The new Minister of Local Government is Mahala Molapo and he has to deal with the crisis that has engulfed the council over the past three months.
Last week Justice Molefi Makara ruled that the minister had no right to dissolve the panel without giving it a chance to defend itself.
The judge also ordered the minister to halt his investigation into Mayor Mpho Moloi’s conduct.

According to the judgement the minister will also have to restore Moloi as mayor but that means he has to remove Chief Hlathe Majara who was elected by councillors to be the new mayor in August.
There are indications that Moloi and the tender panel are victims of a messy fight over the Mpilo Boulevard tender that is about to be awarded.

Moloi told the court that the tender panel was waiting for the consultant’s evaluation report recommendations on who to award the contract when the minister “got into the picture”.
She said the minister then dissolved the nine-member panel “without any hearing whatsoever or providing any reasons”.
The panel is made up of seven councillors and two ex-officio members who are council employees.

Staff Reporter

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