Maesaia’s Trust Fund defrauded

Maesaia’s Trust Fund defrauded

MASERU – FIRST Lady Maesaia Thabane’s Trust Fund could have lost hundreds of thousands of maloti to a senior official who is alleged to have been pocketing its donations and diverting payments for the past ten months. Makarabo Mojakhomo, a director at the trust fund, was in police custody last night after the First Lady lodged a fraud and a theft by false pretence case on Tuesday.

Mojakhomo is the chief accounting officer of the trust fund established by the First Lady for charitable causes.

She is alleged to have pocketed nearly half a million maloti in donations from individuals and companies under the guise that she was representing the trust fund.
Mojakhomo is alleged to have told the donors that she had been sent by the First Lady.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed that Maeasiah Thabane lodged the case on Tuesday but could not give further details.
He however confirmed that the police were investigating cases of fraud and common theft.
He could not say how much is involved because investigations are still underway.

“It’s not easy to say because the investigations are on-going. The police are still getting reports from other people who might be victims,” Superintendent Mopeli said last night.
Police sources told thepost that Mojakhomo was read some charges that include fraud and theft.
She is likely to appear in court today unless the police request to extend her detention.
Cabinet Secretary Advocate Makhetha Motsoari, who is also a trustee of the charity, told thepost that they suspect that the fraud and theft has been happening since August last year when the trust fund started.

He said “it’s only now that some people and institutions are beginning to come out to complain about her.”
Advocate Motsoari said in recent weeks they have received reports from companies and individuals who claim that Mojakhomo had approached them to donate towards Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s birthday celebrations.

“But that is only the recent case because there have been several instances.”
“Some individuals have confirmed that they gave her donations. The trust fund did not receive that money.”
Advocate Motsoari said they have also discovered that Mojokhomo was not been paying rent at the charity’s offices in Arrival Centre.
“We would release money for the rent every month but we are shocked that the landlord is saying we owe him,” Advocate Motsoari said.

“It would seem that this has been happening since August last year.”
The office rent is M12 500.
Advocate Motsoari also said they suspect that Mojakhono did not pay for the First Lady’s birthday celebration at a local hotel.
“I understand that the hotel is owed around M40 000. The money was released but the hotel says it was never paid.”

Advocate Motsoari said although they are not sure they suspect over half a million maloti could have been lost.
“The First Lady is very disturbed by this because a lot of individuals and businesses were beginning to have confidence in the trust fund after understanding that it’s playing a role in helping the vulnerable members of society and advancing noble causes,” he said.

Staff Reporter

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