Lupane State University’s (LSU) management has been sucked into an alleged embezzlement storm after it emerged that the state university has not been paying employee`s remittances to various service providers.
Allegations against the management are that from November 2019 to January 2020, no remittances were made to the employees’ service providers including medical aid contributions, funeral policies and bank loan repayments among others.
A source who spoke to CITE on condition of anonymity said due to non-payment to various service providers some of the LSU employees ended up being blacklisted.
“The employees’ money would be deducted normally from their salaries but they would not be channelled to the specific service providers. Employees had their loans deduction, funeral policies, insurance money, medical aid monies diverted by management from November to January, said the source.
“The employees failed to access their medical aid cover and the loans they owed to banks accumulated interests. Some even were blacklisted.”
The chairperson of the LSU workers’ committee Jabulani Mpofu confirmed the incident citing that they had received numerous reports from members of the staff complaining that no payments had been made for their accounts.
Mpofu chided the conduct displayed by the management, saying they had no right to divert the staff’s money in the manner they did.
He said although they had not yet consolidated the total amount, engagements had already begun with the management on the matter.
“I have received reports from several employees complaining about not receiving their remittances in time. As the workers’ committee, we have made our position very clear on the issue. We are not happy about the management’s conduct,” said Mpofu.
“We are going to follow this up until all the money comes through. The money must be reimbursed without question. Whatever reason they had for doing it we do not want to hear it. They have no right whatsoever to divert people’s funds. They were not supposed to touch people’s money.”
Mpofu said they are still in the process of receiving more reports from all the affected staff members.
“A huge percentage of the staff was affected. We have since asked everyone who had their funds embezzled to bring their statements so that we can quantify how much exactly is owed to them. A few payments have been made to part of the affected people and we will not rest until every cent owed is reimbursed,” he said.
Contacted for a comment LSU spokesperson Zwelithini Dlamini confirmed the incident which he attributed it to cash flow challenges.
Dlamini said the institution had delayed transferring the payments in the last three months.
He explained that the institute has an arrangement of making all transfers by the 15th day of the following month but in the past three months there were cash flow challenges hence the delay.
“I do acknowledge that there was a delay in remitting people’s funds but the money was indeed transferred to all respective accounts. November money was transferred on December 20, December money was transferred on January 31 and January funds were transferred on February 4,” he explained.
“These delays also undeniably affected banking services. The bank (POSB) has acknowledged receiving the money and they confirmed that all transfers will be made to relevant service providers based on individual accounts. It was because of the delay from the institute that all this chaos emanated but all the funds have been remitted in full.”