ECONET Telecom Lesotho (ETL) intends to press charges against its former Matsebetsebe Cash Explosion competition consultant Kholu Lieta following her conviction for defrauding the telecommunications giant of M520 000 in prize money.
ETL has also committed to give the cash prizes to the rightful winners and to tighten its internal controls to ensure such an incident does not happen again.
Lieta was convicted by the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday last week of fraud in her capacity as the telecom network’s radio announcer for the ongoing Matsebetsebe Cash Explosion competition which was launched last June.
According to the evidence before the court, ETL would give Lieta the list of winners for the competition to announce live on various radio stations. But Lieta would instead call other people with whom she had arranged to share the prize monies. The cash prizes for each winner were between M10 000 and M100 000.
She was sentenced to 10 years in jail with the option of paying a M10 000 fine by Magistrate Masupha Kao.
ETL Public Relations Officer Puleng Litabe told the Lesotho Times this week the telecommunications giant had since fired Lieta and would soon press criminal charges against her to recoup the money she stole.
“The company is also tightening up its internal control mechanisms to ensure that such incidents do not happen again,” said Ms Litabe.
“It has therefore encouraged subscribers to continue participating in the competition since it is going ahead as usual.”
She said the real winners of the competition would get their prizes.
“The rightful winners who were thwarted because of what happened will be rewarded. But this does not apply to everyone who participated in the competition.”
In the competition, Econet subscribers stand to win the grand prize of a Toyota Etios car at the end of each month. Also up for grabs is a M10 000 prize from Monday to Thursday as well as M20 000 every Friday.
Winners of the car prize can also swap it for a M150 000 cash prize, while 100 lucky customers stand a chance to win M50 free airtime.
To participate in the competition, ETL customers send the word “Econet” to 65100 and play trivia question and answer game. For every correct answer in the trivia game, a customer collects two points and one point for the wrong one.
The promotion is open to all ETL prepaid and contract subscribers. The draw is held live on radio on Monday at 7:45am on Radio Lesotho, Harvest FM at 7:30am on Tuesday, Wednesday at 7am on MoAfrika FM, with Thursdays at 7am on PC FM and lastly on Fridays on Ultimate Radio at 5:15pm.