NMDS boss grilled

NMDS boss grilled

MASERU – NATIONAL Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) director, Florinah Rakeketsi, was left with egg on her face after her tall tales were shredded to pieces at a tense Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing. Rakeketsi had confidently paraded to the committee files of two people whose accounts she claimed were being used by unscrupulous NMDS officials to launder government funds.

She said the two men who shared the name Mopeli Justice Mohale held numerous accounts through which NMDS officials were filtering money.
Rakeketsi accused the first Mopeli Justice Mohale, from Khubetsoana, of having four different bank accounts through which he defrauded the NMDS.
Rakeketsi told the committee that he had two files at the NMDS with the same identities and particulars of parents. She said Mohale was a student at both the Lerotholi Polytechnic College and the National University of Lesotho (NUL).

“Those two files are for one person who is holding four bank accounts in which some of the NMDS staff were transferring money,” Rakeketsi said.
“This incident shows that funds from the NMDS are being misused.”
That seemingly watertight story however quickly crumbled as soon as the PAC called in Mopeli Justice Mohale to testify.

He told the committee that he was a student at Lerotholi Polytechnic back in 2012 and never went to NUL as Rakeketsi suggested.
“I only have one account which I still use even today and I have never been given more money by the NMDS,” he said.
“The only thing I still remember is that in 2012 I failed and I was not at school for a year and that account was closed because I was not using it for a year.”
“So I opened a new account, the one I’m still using even now,” he said.

Mopeli Justice Mohale convinced the PAC that he did not have four accounts and has never been paid more than other students.
The committee then summoned the second Mopeli Justice Mohale who was represented at the hearing by his father.
The father said his son did not even have a bank account and was using his mother’s to receive his NMDS allowance.

His son, the father said, only attended NUL back in 2012.
“He was using his mother’s account. I am surprised and my son is surprised too that he is accused of being involved in defrauding the NMDS,” he said.
“He does not have four accounts.”

He convinced the PAC that his son, Mopeli Mohale, had no bank account at all.
The PAC then perused the files to understand what could have happened.
The committee found that the two Mopelis had different files at the NMDS and one was at Lerotholi Polytechnic while another was at the NUL in 2012.
The photos in the two files are different and so are the identity numbers.

The names of the parents are also different and the files clearly indicate that these are different people from different places. The only thing they have in common is the name.
The committee then turned the heat on Rakeketsi who was now vulnerable.
“You came to the PAC and accused people of defrauding the NMDS, stealing money from the government yet you are the one who is not able to identify two different people,” PAC chairman Selibe Mochoboroane said.

“You say they are one person,” he said.
“The director and your staff, is this the way you work? You are very disappointing,” he added.
Likopo Mahase, the MP for Khubetsoana who is also a member of PAC, said the NMDS was careless and selfish.
“You are so selfish that you do not even recognise other people when they arrive there,” Mahase said.

“You just think everyone is a student from NUL, Fokothi or Limkokwing, you just do not care,” he said.
Tsoinyane Rapapa, MP for Mosalemane, said he is also a victim of NMDS’s bungling.
“I’m still paying the NMDS even today and I have overpaid them. This is because they do not care about Basotho, they only care about themselves,” he said.
Rapapa said he serviced his loan with the NMDS a long time ago but “because the NMDS is careless they have misplaced the records and they insist that I still owe them”.
“I had no option and restarted paying.”

Thooe Ramolibeli

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