A whistle-blower with ghost names is rocking the boat for Letshego Group CEO Chris Low on the eve of the Pan African micro-lender’s announcement of positive financial results for its shareholders.
This Friday Letshego, a Botswana stock exchange listed entity with a market capitalisation of P5.5 billion, is expected to announce that dividends have doubled from the past year, but a leak alleging cooking of accounts, corruption and misappropriation of funds, appears to be putting a dent on the British CEO’s Champaign popping moment.
Low however says while it is clear that someone has had access to confidential information, it is also clear that they chose to deliberately distort the information to suit their motive. “ It is not the first time that such damaging allegations have been made against a Letshego CEO, I’m made to understand that three years ago my predecessor suffered the same smear campaign from a ghost source”, says Low.
Contrary to the potentially damaging allegations, the Letshego CEO says Namibia and Mozambique are not lose making entities. “ They are very profitable, contributing 20 percent or so of our profits, they are only second to Botswana.”Low also says there is no way that he could syphon P3.5 million to fund his wife’s business as the whistle blower alleges. He says on the contrary a group of medical doctors working in developing countries around the world have tabled a proposal to reach out to African countries but such a project has not been funded, pending the Board’s decision.
He says it is also not true that millions of Pula were spent on consultancies, saying much less was used for brand refresh surveys, and staff salary consultancy.
“ The feed back we are getting from our brand refresh surveys is that in some of our markets like Kenya, Letshego is pronounced like an inappropriate word with sexual innuendo; in some markets Letshego, as a word does not communicate anything, while the pot symbol, is sometimes seen as a symbol of herbs…”
Letshego has subsidiaries in ten African countries; South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.