Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Suspended Letlole La Rona CEO faces criminal charges

Suspended Letlole La Rona chief executive officer (CEO) Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa faces possible criminal charges.

The charges come hot on the heels of his suspension in May this year for possible misconduct relating to the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan.

The company’s notice to investors last week indicated that following the conclusion of an independent forensic investigation, it had instituted disciplinary proceedings against the suspended CEO and criminal charges have been laid with the Serious Crimes Squad at the Botswana Police.

Responding to an enquiry by Sunday Standard, LLR Independent director Fred Selolwane said: “Because of the on-going disciplinary proceedings and police investigation we are unable to comment beyond the published statement at this stage. We will however update all stakeholders from time to time as and when we are able to do so.” 

The LLR notice indicated that a committee comprising three non-executive members of the board, who were appointed post the conclusion of the LTIP, have been appointed to institute a disciplinary process on behalf of LLR.

The committee has engaged three independent, high-profile labour practitioners to constitute a disciplinary panel which will conduct the hearing. One of these practitioners will chair the disciplinary panel and the other two will be members of the panel. In addition, an independent secretariat has been appointed to record the proceedings and provide general secretarial services to the panel.

A lawyer from Armstrong Attorneys, Moemedi Tafa confirmed Armstrong Attorneys as the legal advisor to Letlole but said they have not been instructed on anything yet in relation to the company CEO, as the matter is still going through some internal process. 

“I am aware of the suspension of the CEO and that the matter is heading for a disciplinary hearing, but there is nothing much to share as of now,” said Tafa.  

The first notice of the suspension in May read: “The preliminary findings of possible misconduct arising from the investigation relate to circumstances around the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan during or around March this year and possible acts or omissions by an individual in a unique position of power.” 

Reports were that, the CEO had improperly claimed benefits of up to P30million for himself and his executive managers based on an incorrect interpretation of the long-term incentive plan. 

LLR which boasts properties valued at about P819 million mainly in the industrial and retail sectors suspended Shenjere-Mutiswa with full benefits, pending the outcome of further and full investigations. LLR is 45 percent owned by Botswana Development Corporation 

The Company is currently on a closed period as it has started preparing for the results for the financial year ended 30 June 2020 and are expected to continue until 30 September 2020 or thereabout when the results are expected to be published.

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The Telegraph October 28

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.