Minister fires 36 workers

Minister fires 36 workers

MASERU-SPORTS Minister Likeleli Tampane has fired 36 workers who were hired to prepare for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 games.

Tampane told thepost that the workers were hired unlawfully but declined to comment further, referring the newspaper to the ministry’s spokesman.
The workers, forming the AUSC Region 5 Local Organising Committee, were hired during the tenure of Dr Mahali Phamotse in 2018.

Phamotse yesterday condemned the decision to fire the workers saying it was politically motivated.
The games were scheduled for December this year but have since been postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sports spokesman, Maqalika Matsepe, told thepost that Minister Tampane “found out that somewhere procedure was not followed” when they were hired.

He said Tampane “advised herself to correct the mistake by terminating their contracts so that their positions are advertised”.
“They will still get a chance to apply so I do not take it as expulsion,” Matsepe said.

He said after their “disengagement” preparations to hire afresh will begin so that the committee becomes operational again.
“Those positions were never advertised before those people were hired,” he said.

On the other hand, Dr Phamotse said she is surprised that Tampane talks about following procedure yet the positions did not require such.
“Those posts are governed by Region 5, they do not have to be advertised, according to Region 5,” Dr Phamotse said.

She said the AUSC Region 5 games “are never administered like government projects or ministries where there is procedure to follow”.
“I do not know how the current minister finds the recruitment unlawful,” she said.

She said the AUSC Region 5 controls everything in the games and there is no need for the government to interfere as the committee had already started working.
“Their expulsion is political and unfounded,” she said.
She said it is clear that her Alliance of Democrats (AD) party was doing its job correctly while in government that is why the current government is trying by all means to undo what was already done.

Dr Phamotse said the current government is trying to reverse everything that the AD did while in government.
She said instead of using the limited time they have the government had decided to attack and undo all AD milestones.

“We did good things for the benefit of Basotho nation not just a group of politicians,” she said.
She said Tampane does not have powers to dissolve the committee as it was assembled by the AUSC Region 5.
“I do not think she understands the depth of the matter. She does not understand what she is doing.”

Dr Phamotse said Lesotho is the AUSC chairman through Sports Minister and “hopefully (African) ministers will understand the issue and maybe reverse the matter as she is now the chairwoman”.
There is a current troika communiqué that says the games should be cancelled for this year.

She said the communiqué says in January there will be a meeting to decide when the games will be held which could be in 2022.
Dr Phamotse said postponement of games did not mean Tampane should “dissolve committees and start afresh by hiring members of her political party”.

“I do not blame the Minster of Sports because she does not understand what protocol is to the world,” she said.
“She just wants to hire her own people.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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