Moletsane denies promotions were political

Moletsane denies promotions were political

MASERU – JUSTICE Minister Mokhele Moletsane has instructed the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) Commissioner Thabang Mothepu to create platforms for workers to air their grievances. Moletsane said this barely a week after Sergeant Bokang Ramotena was suspended for airing their grievances on radio without authorisation from her bosses.

Moletsane said if Mothepu does not create the platform for the staff to talk the institution will always have problems keeping them away from public forums. The LCS public relations nightmare started when a group of junior prison warders approached the Ombudsman last month complaining about what they called unfair promotions.

The warders, including Sergeant Ramotena, told Ombudsman Advocate Leshele Thoahlane that promotions at the institution were based on political affiliation. Moletsane, speaking at a press conference at the Mohale’s Hoek prison, said addressing staff problems on public platforms can be destructive hence it is important to make them feel at home.

“In every setting of service people deserve a platform to talk about their challenges. So please consider establishing it,” he said. He said the LCS will not be stabilised by the media or politicians but its employees who benefit from it. “We have to protect ourselves as a department because nobody will, if we do not,” he added. He also said the LCS is not just a normal department as it has a discipline section. “So, our complaints should be solved and addressed within the institution,” he said.

Moletsane said according to their laws it is the minister who should guide the commissioner’s office. “I do not command, I issue policy on how government wants you to do your job,” he added. Moletsane also said they were surprised by allegations that say they made politically motivated promotions. “I am satisfied that the process was done correctly as the commissioner was supposed to consult me before promoting anybody and he did just that,” he said.

“In short, there is nothing like politically motivated promotions within the Lesotho Correctional Service because the board was also consulted,” Moletsane added. He said employees are free to voice their concerns by using the right platforms. “There is no way we can stop or scare people from seeking justice but they should also give other people the justice they deserve,” he added.

Mothepu said the warder who was expelled last week, Sergeant Motena, was not dismissed because of her complaints. “She did not act right by going out to the media about institutional affairs without being granted the permission to do so,” Mothepu said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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