Recalled  brigadiers want M3.5 million

Recalled brigadiers want M3.5 million

MASERU – TWO senior soldiers assigned to foreign missions are claiming over M3.5 million from the government after they were recalled before their contracts ended.  Brigadier ’Matumelo Ramoqopo was posted to Ethiopia while Brigadier Sechaba Kaibe was sent to South Africa by the previous government.

In September last year, barely three months after the new government came to power, the two were recalled from the embassies.
Brigadier Ramoqopo is claiming over M2.8 million while Brigadier Kaibe is claiming M676 000. In their civil summonses the two claim that they were not given a chance to make representations regarding their financial losses if recalled.  They claim that the government did not follow proper procedures when it recalled them. They further say the courts have declared the government’s actions unlawful in previous cases similar to theirs.

Brigadier Ramoqopo and Brigadier Kaibe say the government should pay them what they would have earned had they completed their tenures.
“The (government) refuse, ignore and fail while obliged to pay (us) who are entitled to be paid in terms of the law as they were adversely affected by (the government)’s erroneous decisions.”

The government is already facing lawsuits from two of the six diplomats it recalled this month.  Advocate Kelebone Maope, Lesotho’s Representative to the United Nations in New York, wants the court to declare his recall unlawful.  Lebohang Ntšinyi, Lesotho’s ambassador to China, also wants to block her recall.

In her urgent High Court application last week Ntšinyi said it was unfair for the government to recall her before her contract expires.
He contract was due to expire next year. She however says she will agree to come back home if the government pays her the M5.2 million she was supposed to earn during the remainder of her contract.

Ntšinyi says she has not faced any disciplinary action from the government and therefore she does not understand why she is being recalled.
Meanwhile, another diplomat in Pretoria ’Mamotebang Napo has obtained a final court order staying her recall.
Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi granted the order last week.

“The re-assignment and recall of the applicant is hereby declared null and void ab initio (from the beginning) for violating the rules of natural justice in that the applicant was not given a hearing prior to her recall,” Justice Monaphathi said.
Napo is one of the soldiers assigned abroad.

She told the court that her recall would jeopardise her child’s education.  Napo also argued that she could not afford to hire a flat for her daughter if she is kicked out of the diplomatic residence.  She said the money she was earning as a diplomat would cover her daughter’s educational needs but if she is reassigned back home she would not get it.

Staff Reporter

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