Former police commissioner, Khothatso Tšooana, says government has not discussed his retirement benefits with him despite gazetting his forced exit on 17 August 2015.
Mr Tšooana was sent on early retirement by government after finding him unfit to hold office. Among the many charges levelled against him, Mr Tšooana was accused of incompetence, polarising and politicising the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS).
A brief letter dated 25 September 2014 and issued by Acting Government Secretary, Emmanuel Lesoma, simply notes: “I enclose herewith for your information, a copy of Legal Notice No 64 of 2015, it speaks for itself.”
However, Mr Tšooana yesterday told the Lesotho Times he was “disappointed” with the way government had treated him.
“It is disappointing for the Office of the GS to backdate my retirement to September 2014. Maybe it was a typing error, but it is still a surprise that the gazette dated 17 August 2015 was only sent to my house five weeks later.
“One must understand that I am not refusing to go but I had hoped to be called by the relevant government authorities to discuss my exit and retirement benefits. Then again, if it is so difficult for them to call me, I had thought the retirement letter from the GS would have details regarding my retirement. But to my disappointment, I found a one-sentence letter which does not address anything concerning my benefits,” Mr Tšooana said.
“The retirement age in the police service is 55 years and an officer qualifies for early retirement at the age of 45 and I am only 38. I don’t qualify for retirement and I had not said I wanted to go. It was government’s decision that I must go. I was hoping that they would discuss buying my contract out but nothing of the sort has happened.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Lesoma failed yesterday as his mobile phone was not reachable.
Meanwhile, Mr Tšooana would not discuss if he had ended his exile following his appearance before the SADC Commission of Inquiry at State Library yesterday.
Mr Tšooana fled the country for South Africa in June this year fearing for his life, but gave testimony before the commission in Maseru.
The commission was established to probe Lesotho’s instability and followed the killing of former army commander, Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao, by the military three months ago.