MPs to declare  assets by September

MPs to declare assets by September

MASERU – MPS will be expected to file their declaration of assets and interests by September this year.
This is according to Finance Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro.Majoro told the MPs during his budget speech that “arrangements are at an advanced stage for the declaration of assets by public officials”.

“I hope that this Honourable House will file their declarations before the end of September, 2017,” he said.
Ever since the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) leader Lekhetho Rakuoane called for the declaration of assets and interests in 2003, each coming government has ignored the call.

In 2006 the law requiring public servants to declare their assets was passed in parliament but it was never implemented.
The then Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)-led government dragged its feet. In 2007, still with Rakuoane spearheading the debate in parliament for the implementation of the law that would require declaration of assets, the ruling LCD and National Independent Party (NIP) majority turned a blind eye to it. In the 2012 parliament, Rakuoane supported the All Basotho Convention (ABC)-led government in parliament and as the Deputy Speaker he pushed for the law.

At the time, the then LCD minister Motloheloa Phooko who was Public Service Minister made an attempt but failed.
Under the past Democratic Congress (DC)-led government Rakuoane who was fully part of the government made promises that were never fulfilled.
The new government has raised the issue again, and only time will tell if this will happen.

In 2006 when the law was first passed in parliament, it gave public officers six months to declare their assets.
Since then Rakuoane has been complaining that nothing had been done to push MPs to declare their assets.
The first declarations were supposed to be on 15 June 2007.

Public officers who are required by law to declare their assets according to the gazette include the prime minister and all government ministers, senior government officials and all judicial officers including High Court judges.

The law mandates the DCEO to investigate anyone in the public and private sector whom it suspects to be involved in corrupt financial transactions.

Staff Reporter

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