Back in March the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Jimmy Opelo was slapped with an indefinite suspension for corruption.
Now nearly five months later, he has been cleared and reinstated.
At the time of his sacking the move was seen as a continued effort by Government to root out corruption in Ministries, and just like most corruption cases, some of which have reached the courts of law- the government has once again been left embarrassed.
The Voice can reveal that the Acting Permanent Secretary to the President, Emma Peloetletse offered Opelo back his job this Monday after investigations cleared him of corruption allegations leveled against him.
The Voice can further reveal that Opelo has since accepted his job back and will be back in his office soon.
Speaking briefly to the Voice this Wednesday Opelo confirmed his reinstatement.
“I wish not to dwell much on the matter since a lot has been published but I can say that yes I was called by my bosses and I have been vindicated. The Government is free to investigate or check out any one of us. I will not respond to more questions you have raised except to confirm that yes I have been reinstated. My goal is to realign the Ministry into achieving its mandate with all its programmes,” he said.
His suspension came after an investigation into the affairs of the Ministry allegedly unearthed trails of suspected corrupt dealings relating to awarding of tenders, questionable transfers of officials, misappropriation of funds just to name but a few- allegations which he has now been cleared of.
Whilst he declined to comment further on his suspension, a source at the Ministry told The Voice that Opelo’s downfall had been triggered by his reluctance to approve certain projects that were proposed by the Office of the President.
According to our source, at the time Opelo did not believe that the projects and initiatives suggested by the OP were significant and immediate to the growth of the Ministry.
“His main undoing was also cutting down on some of the budgets and programmes. Another project was that of the small stock initiative that has been led by President Masisi and the Ministry has not been assisting with its rollout,” the source claimed.
Peloetletse clarified that the PS’s suspension was nothing out of the ordinary, she explained that procedure was followed and a panel was set up to look into the “highly confidential” allegations against Opelo.
“I was then given a report and after considering all the legal aspects to the case you talk I reached a conclusion to reinstate him. This was not a witch hunt it was a normal government procedure and I can assure you that all processes were followed. This case was one of the many administrative cases Government has,” Peloetleste confirmed.