Broke IEC faces eviction

Broke IEC faces eviction

MASERU-THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is broke and is likely to be kicked out of the MGC Park offices for failing to pay rent, thepost heard this week.

The IEC spokesman, Tuoe Hantši, told this newspaper yesterday that the commission is struggling under the weight of unpaid bills.
“We are on the brink of collapse,” Hantši said.

He said 90 percent of all their bills for petrol, monthly office rental, electricity, water, security and internet services have not been paid.
“Retired workers have not been paid since last year and they have lost patience to the extent that they are exposing the IEC on different media platforms,” Hantši said.

Vacant positions have also not been filled up, including that of the director of elections and the commissioners.
“The IEC cannot do any of its activities without a director of elections,” he said, adding that recently “no one has been allowed to go on leave”.
“There is no registration and no voter education.”

He added that there is no cleaning of the voters’ roll because there are no materials.
“Vacancies in the constituencies and sub-constituencies have also not been filled,” he said.
He said they also do not have toner or even printing paper.

“Soft-wares have expired and even our phones cannot connect,” he said.
Hantši said they were supposed to come up with a budget for the 2020/21 financial year which should be done under the chief accounting officer who is not there.
“Our problem is that they do not have the CAO (chief accounting officer),” he said.

“Probably the powers of the current committee are no more since it was acting on behalf of the director of elections.”
He said they also owe the people from whom they hired vehicles.
The IEC has been without commissioners since January last year when their contracts expired.

The three commissioners lost a court case to retain their posts.
They were the retired Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla, Advocate ’Mamosebi Pholo and Dr Makase Nyaphisi.

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