LLR raises criminal charges against CEO

GP Correspondent

Botswana Stock Exchange listed Letlole La Rona (LLR) has laid disciplinary and criminal charges against its Chief Executive Officer, Chikuni  Shenjere- Mutiswa.

The company told shareholders this week that the conclusion of an independent forensic investigation following suspension of the CEO emanating from preliminary findings arising from an investigation into issues relating to the company’s Long-term Incentive Plan (LTIP), has ignited disciplinary and criminal charges.

“The company has instituted disciplinary proceedings against Mr Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa and criminal charges have been laid with the Serious Crimes Squad at the Botswana Police Services,” said  LLR board in a notice to shareholders.

The board further said the ambit of the forensic investigation extended to a review of all relevant company policies, adding that LLR will update the market on additional findings as and when appropriate.

“To ensure an independent and impartial process, a committee comprising three nonexecutive members of the board, who were appointed post the conclusion of the LTIP, have been appointed to institute disciplinary process on behalf of LLR.

“The committee has engaged three (3) 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,” said the board.

In addition, LLR said an independent secretariat has been appointed to record the proceedings and provide general secretarial services to the panel.

The CEO confirmed the disciplinary and criminal charges have been laid against him.

“With respect, like the notice to the BSE, the charges are fishing expedition by a board who seek to deflect attention from the simple proven fact that they fully considered , approved and signed an LTIP,” said Shenjere-Mutiswa.

He bemoaned that the supposedly independent forensic investigators who authored the report did not contact him.

“Furthermore the full report has not been shared with me. I reserve all my rights on the matter,” said the CEO.

LLR tussle between board and CEO was triggered by an approximately P30 million long-term incentive (LTI) payout claim to three executive directors.

Under the disputed TLI plan the current CEO is entitled to approximately P14 million, with two other executive directors the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Property Manager splitting the remaining half on the 30 Million payout.

The development happens as Grit Services Limited increases its stake in the company leading to appointment of two new executive directors.