Suspended Letlole La Rona (LLR) CEO, Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa is demanding the payment of P15 million as part of an executive rewards plan, BusinessWeek has learnt.
The board of LLR suspended Shenjere-Mutiswa at the end of May for allegedly abusing the rewards programme, known as the Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP). The board has since said it has laid charges against the CEO with the police’s Serious Crimes Squad.
This week, however, documents from the suspended CEO’s lawyers indicate that he is fighting back, having given the board an ultimatum to pay him the amount he says he is entitled to.
The former CEO said the incentive was properly approved by the board in December and was actually overdue, as he had given notice that it should be paid in April.
“LLR have reneged on the payment of a long-term incentive plan agreement, claiming it is invalid and fraudulent,” reads a complaint filed by the suspended CEO at the District Labour Office.
Shenjere-Mutiswa’s lawyers and LLR’s representatives have engaged in a back and forth on the claim, at some point disagreeing over the need to have a meeting between the two sides.
While the suspended CEO says his
Shenjere-Mutiswa told BusinessWeek that allegations of fraud were defamatory and “an attempt to deflect from the directors’ responsibility to meticulously read agreements before binding the company”.
“I have done everything by the book. Even as at today, none of the police investigators have approached me.
“I am focused on clearing my name and being paid what is due to me,” he said.
Shenjere-Mutiswa’s suspension is with full benefits, pending the outcome of further and full investigations.
Besides the criminal investigation, LLR has appointed a committee of three non-executive members of the board to oversee a disciplinary process against Shenjere-Mutiswa.
LLR, which is 45%-owned by the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), boasts properties last valued at about P819 million mainly in the industrial and retail sectors.
The BDC holds 45.3% equity in LLR and 100% equity in Western Industrial Estate, which develops and manages industrial properties.