Judges to investigate DCEO boss

Judges to investigate DCEO boss

MASERU-THREE High Court judges have been tasked to investigate if the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) boss, Attorney Mahlomola Manyokole, still qualifies to hold the office.
The gazette appointing Justices Teboho Moiloa, Semapo Peete and Polo Banyane was issued last week.

They have been instructed to investigate Attorney Manyokole and make recommendations to the Prime Minister as to whether or not he should be kicked out.
After completing the investigations, the tribunal has been instructed to release a report of its findings and recommendations to the Prime Minister within eight weeks.

As pressure piles on the DCEO boss, Justice Minister Professor Nqosa Mahao has also written Attorney Manyokole a second letter asking him to explain why he should not be suspended.
Professor Mahao’s gripe is that Attorney Manyokole deposed to an affidavit in which he implicated him and Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro in a crime of obstructing justice or defeating the ends of justice.

In the first letter, written two months ago, Professor Mahao was complaining that Attorney Manyokole was incompetent and ruined cases in favour of some suspects.
Attorney Manyokole approached the High Court seeking to stop his suspension alleging that in fact it was Professor Mahao and Dr Majoro who do not want their friends investigated.

This irked Professor Mahao triggering the minister to write a second letter demanding an explanation why Attorney Manyokole should not be suspended pending an investigation into his behaviour.
The letter states that Attorney Manyokole should appreciate that his position laid a heavy burden on his shoulders given the turbulence in Lesotho’s politics.

He said Lesotho was currently experiencing rampant corruption and economic offences perpetrated by senior politicians and government bureaucrats sometimes in collusion with private citizens.
It stated that the institution that he leads is a critical one with the core mandate of investigating suspected cases of corruption and economic crimes and matters connected with them.

“There is a criminal case staged against you whereupon you are being accused of obstruction of justice,” it stated.
It also accused Attorney Manyokole of “irregularly and illegally staging a litigation and filed an affidavit before a court of law where you staged a litigation citing the DCEO as litigant in a case in which the interests which were being sought to be salvaged were personally yours and had nothing to do with institutional imperatives of DCEO”.

“You thereby compromised the institutional and functional autonomy of the DCEO and acted contrary to the law by acting as such,” Professor Mahao’s letter reads.
The letter again accused Attorney Manyokole of “using gratuitous and intemperate language in the affidavits filed of record and put both the Office of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Law (Professor Mahao) in disrepute”.

“The immoderate and intemperate language used by you equally put the institution of the DCEO into disrepute.”
He was given three days to respond to the letter.
In an interview with thepost Attorney Manyokole argued that Professor Mahao’s accusations were “just propaganda that is meant to ruin my reputation and embarrass me”.

Nkheli Liphoto

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