Quthing council official grilled

Quthing council official grilled

MASERU – PARLIAMENT says it won’t give money to the Quthing District Council unless it names a politician who illegally instructed it to divert funds last year. The District Council Secretary ’Mampolokeng Lebusa told the portfolio committee on Prime Minister’s Ministries that she diverted the funds to an unbudgeted for project last year.

Lebusa was found out after she asked for funds for the building of roads connecting Dili-Dili, Sinqondo, Ha-Selebalo and Mphujwa for the 2018/19 financial year. However, an individual in Quthing had already alerted the MPs that the roads Lebusa was going to ask the funds for had already been built.

When grilled, Lebusa revealed that a senior politician in government had instructed the council to dump the project they were working on and build the roads.
That project was in another area.
She however could not reveal to Parliament who that official was.
The committee chairwoman, ’Matšepo Ramakoae, demanded to know who was that top official who issued the directive to the council to break the government’s financial regulations.

“We have heard that there is somebody who made some changes but the council cannot give us the person who did that, and there are no documents confirming those changes,’’ Ramakoae said.
“Is this how you do things at local government?” Ramakoae asked.

“Somebody from the headquarters just gives orders without any documentation confirming that change?” she said.
At this juncture, the Local Government Principal Secretary, Tšeliso Mokoma, intervened to rescue Lebusa explaining that the issue was highly political.

Mokoma confirmed that someone highly positioned had issued the directive and “that was politically motivated”.
“I’m glad that we have come to talking about this and we are asking this committee to also help us with politicians who are misleading civil servants,” Mokoma pleaded.

He however could not give the name of the politician to the committee.
The irked committee members said “politicians are doing everything which is in their interest but civil servants should also not allow themselves to be misled by politics”.

“You should ask the person who wants you to change what you are lawfully doing in your work to write a letter and put it together with the documents that you have, so that we can see the proof of what you are talking about,” Motlatsi Maqelepo, a committee member, said.
The committee said the council will not be given any money because it did not do things the way they had to done.

Maqelepo advised the council to go and write a letter to the Ministry of Local Government explaining in details what happened, including naming the official who gave them instructions to divert the funds. He said the letter should be signed by the Minister of Local Government, “or else you will not be given money for the 2018-19 financial year”.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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