Top police  officer in trouble

Top police officer in trouble

MASERU – ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police Seabata Tutuoane could be in a trouble over M48 000 he requested for a cyber-security training workshop in February. The workshop was held in Mokhotlong at Sani Stone Lodge which provided accommodation, meals and conference facilities for the 11 police detectives. But ten months later the lodge is yet to be paid, with its managers complaining that they are being sent from “pillar to post”.

A source at the police’s procurement unit has told thepost that the police are reluctant to pay the bill because of suspicion that the workshop might not have been properly approved. Police spokesman Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said he was not aware of any queries concerning Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane and the workshop.

“We do not have any claims from Sani Stone Lodge,” Inspector Mopeli said.
Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane is alleged to have booked the Sani Stone Lodge for two weeks.
The lodge’s director Phoka Ntlhoki told thepost this week that Tutuoane has not paid despite several calls for the payment.
Ntlhoki said Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane was the one making arrangements with the lodge. He was head of the police delegation to the Sani Stone, Ntlhoki said.

Ntlhoki said Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane told him that the training was urgent when he made the booking.
“We did not ask what the training was all about. We only understood that the facility was needed urgently,” Ntlhoki said.
He said some time during the workshop Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane told the management that they would only be there for a week but did not explain why the initial arrangement had been changed.

Ntlhoki said after the training the lodge invoiced the police for just a week instead of the two they had booked.
“We have never received any payment since that time,” Ntlhoki said.
He said Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane said the invoices had been lost.
Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane allegedly requested the lodge to re-submit the invoices to him but he never paid despite that it kept on submitting the papers.

Ntlhoki said they then submitted their documents to ACP Lebohang Setsomi who was the head of procurement unit.
Setsomi however did not process any payment because he did not have the relevant documents, Ntlhoki said.
Setsomi, who has since skipped the country saying his life was in danger, told thepost that the training was for detectives.
Asked why the payment has not been processed, Setsomi said since he did “not have the documents, it is difficult to tell”.

“We did not take this matter to the principal secretary or the minister in charge because we thought the payment would be processed,” Ntlhoki said.
Ntlhoki said while they were still battling to get the payment a group of police officers stormed their lodge saying they had come to investigate the matter.

“We had already thrown the towel when the police officers started their investigations,” Ntlhoki said.
But Ntlhoki declined to give details of the alleged investigations.
He said this might interfere with police investigations.

Assistant Commissioner Tutuoane said he was not aware of any investigation or query about the workshop.
“I would advise you to talk to the procurement department or the public relations office about the issue. As far as I am concerned I have never been confronted or asked about that issue,” he said. “You might be aware that we, as police officers, are not allowed to comment on any investigation.”

Majara Molupe

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