NEWLY-APPOINTED Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Chief Executive Officer, Mohato Seleke, has his work cut out in completing the restructuring of the parastatal to increase its efficiency.
This is the view of industry players in light of last week’s announcement of Mr Seleke’s appointment to the helm of the trade promotion agency.
The LNDC has confirmed the development to this publication, but did not elaborate further, stating that a press statement with more details was being prepared.
According to the LinkedIn profile of Mr Seleke, who is in his early forties, he completed a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of the Free State Business School in 2013. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics obtained from the National University of Lesotho in 2000.
Mr Seleke is the founder and former chief executive officer of Mountain Farms, a chicken production enterprise that folded within two years of its establishment in 2013.
He was also an executive director at Datacom Internet Solutions from 2005 – 2012 as well as executive director at Motech Computers from 2002 – 2005.
He has worked as Enterprise Technical Adviser at CARE in South Africa on the commercialisation of agricultural enterprises around extractive industries in 2014.
Industry players who spoke to the Lesotho Times this week said the appointment of the relatively young Mr Seleke to the helm of the LNDC was a positive development, since it was previously the preserve of much older people.
The LNDC is mandated with the implementation of the country’s industrial development policy. It is also charged with promoting Lesotho as an attractive investment location and destination for both foreign and indigenous investors.
Wholly-owned by the government of Lesotho, the LNDC falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which is responsible for providing overall policy direction on industrialisation.
The corporation is currently in the process of splitting into three units that will focus on investment promotion, property management and development finance in order to increase focus and performance.
Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) Chief Executive Officer Thabo Qhesi told this publication they supported Mr Seleke’s appointment.
“We trust the judgement of the LNDC board in his appointment, and we believe they have appointed someone competent enough to take the aspirations of the institution forward,” he said.
“We fully support the new CEO, and we will be expecting to see implementation of the restructuring exercise the LNDC is undergoing.”
The restructuring process, Mr Qhesi said, should revitalise the LNDC in fulfilling its industrialisation mandate since it had only been successful in the textiles sector.
On the appointment of a relatively young LNDC boss, he said: “We have seen how the older and more experienced people have been failing this country for many years in the past. I think it is only fair to give young blood an opportunity to showcase what they can do leading our country.”
For his part, Majalefa Development Movement chairperson Ramahoana Matlosa who is a peer of Mr Seleke, also welcomed the appointment, saying he has what it takes to lead the corporation.
“I wish to congratulate him on his appointment as CEO of LNDC. I have always advocated for the young generation to be given a chance. He is young, talented, smart, innovative, enthusiastic and brave. That’s all the qualities we need in that position,” Mr Matlosa said.
“He truly has what it takes to lead that organisation. His only challenge is that some people will expect him to bring immediate results and they will be very impatient with him. If he is not careful that could cost him. “He shouldn’t be in a hurry for quick results; he should patiently work on building the right system and strategies that would bring industrial boom and yield results in a long term.”
Mr Matlosa added: “He must work with people. There is an old African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Great things are achieved through people.’”
However, a businessman who requested anonymity in fear of reprisals, said the appointment was politically-motivated. He claimed that Mr Seleke was an “active politician” who uses his IT skills to further his political agenda.
The businessman also asserted that the LNDC’s top post required a specialist in the field of investment promotion or at least investment finance.
“With all due respect, Mr Seleke has no relevant experience to run an organisation of such a magnitude. And what has he achieved that makes us believe he will drive the LNDC forward?” he added.
Mr Seleke was no reachable at the time of going to press.