The search and seizure activity conducted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offenses (DCEO) follows the more than 40 days’ unfortunate illegal strike action by some nursing staff at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital and filter clinics, various attempts to resolve the salary disputes including arbitration, and the notification by the Lesotho Government that it has instructed the Ministries of Health and of Finance to cut ties between the Government and the Tšepong Consortium.
This was said by Tšepong Management on their press statement released on 21st March 2021.
The statement reads “notwithstanding these actions, hospital services have continued, and the health and safety of our patients remain the hospital management and staff’s priority, especially during these difficult COVID-19 times. All efforts are being made to ensure continuity of services by enlisting external nursing staff and reassigning nurses and managers. Non-critical services such as out-patient services are continuing without much disruption during this time. In- patient and emergency services are operating and Tšepong continues to maintain safe nurse-to-patient ratios.”
On the statement the Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) Public Relations Officer, Mothepane Thahane, confirmed the unexpected and unannounced arrival of the DCEO at the QMMH on Friday morning, March 19, 2021. She further confirmed that the DCEO removed documents and computers based on search warrants issued by the Senior Resident Magistrate.
“Since 2008, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement concluded between Tšepong and the Government of Lesotho has been managed, and been operating throughout in an ethical and legally compliant manner in the provision of health and other essential services at QMMH on behalf of the Government of Lesotho. This has been confirmed by quarterly independent monitoring (overseen by the Government of Lesotho), as well as dual independent external audits and independent accreditation of operations that were conducted since the start of service delivery at QMMH in 2011.
“The hospital is the only national referral hospital for Lesotho’s total population of just over two million people. Supported by four filter clinics, the hospital is an institution which is fundamental to the provision of specialised quality health services to the people of Lesotho,” Thahane said.