Water minister wants transparency

Water minister wants transparency

MASERU – WATER Affairs Minister Samonyane Ntsekele says he is going to clean up the tender processes in his ministry to improve transparency. Ntsekele made the remarks during his first official meeting with staff in his ministry last week. He said the water affairs ministry has a chequered history in awarding government tenders.
Ntsekele urged his staff to join him in pushing for transparency in the awarding of tenders.

“We need to work in all transparency and honesty for the people we serve,” he said.
“The tenders we offer should be purely based on the merits of that particular company.”

Ntsekele said corruption within the tendering processes and the awarding of contracts is one of the biggest challenges that he is facing in a ministry that offers many opportunities to businessmen.
“Not only will we work in all transparency in tender processes but internally as well,” he said, adding that good administration will encourage good practices.
“We need our service delivery to be the best and we want office resources used wisely and effectively for the benefit of all Basotho,” Ntsekele said.
Ntsekele said workers at his ministry should be ready to work and deliver.

“It is the responsibility of us all to see that the goals we have set for ourselves are met.  We need to follow up on progress we have made and see where we are,” he said. “Construction companies that are trusted with the job offered to them should deliver, those responsible to monitor the work should do so strictly because we have cases where construction companies are paid and they never finish the job,” Ntsekele said.

The employees said lack of adequate resources such as vehicles is hindering their work in various departments.
’Malebohang Tjelele said the ministry is struggling because of a shortage of accountants after a number of accountants who used to work for the ministry were not replaced after their retirement.
“This puts a strain on our work especially because much is expected from us,” Tjelele said.

Some workers in the Department of Hydrology said they are battling a shortage of equipment. They said the ministry must hire more personnel.
Ntsekele said he will take up the workers’ concerns adding the ministry’s management was already dealing with the matter.
“I am well aware of these concerns, the team and I have discussed how well we can address these issues and even if it is all at once we shall fix them,” Ntsekele said.
Ntsekele said his ministry has the biggest mandate in pushing for the development of the country.

“We run projects that impact the development of the country financially, infrastructure-wise and in many ways,” Ntsekele said.
Ntsekele said the ministry is aware of how beneficial the generation of electricity can be for Lesotho.
Ntsekele said there is need to have a clear work-plan and set goals for the ministry.

“Each department within the ministry should know its functions and duties, a clear guideline needs to be presented to the employees,” Ntsekele said.
“Our biggest mandate however is to deliver water to Basotho. We need to put politics aside and work for the nation,” he said.

Rose Moremoholo

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