‘DCEO should be autonomous’

‘DCEO should be autonomous’

MATUKENG – MOVEMENT for Economic Change (MEC) leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, says the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) should be both operationally and financially autonomous.

Addressing a rally in Matukeng last Saturday, Mochoboroane said the DCEO will answer directly to parliament if the MEC becomes government after the June 3 election. Mochoboroane also said the government will give DECO enough resources to conduct investigations.

The anti-corruption unit has always complained about lack of funds to hire investigators and buy more vehicles. It has said it is losing skilled investigators because it does not have the financial muscle to compete in the job market. Mochoboroane however told the rally that his government will not starve the DCEO.

The former energy minister said the DCEO should have full autonomy so that it’s not beholden to politicians. “DCEO management does not have to be political appointees because if it is done that way nothing will change,” he said.

“Parliament will have to be in charge of DCEO.” Mochoboroane’s remarks come barely two months after hints the DCEO director-general Borotho Matsoso could be removed.  He has received ‘a show cause’ letter from the Minister of Justice who accused him of inappropriate behaviour in relation to an investigation.

Matsoso has told those close to him that the government could be laying grounds for his removal. The letter came at a time when the DCEO was completing investigation into the Bidvest scandal, triggering speculation that it could be a tactic to scuttle the probe.
The DCEO has only 10 investigators to cover the whole country.

Speaking on other matters, Mochoboroane said Lesotho urgently needs roads, water and electricity. He said only the MEC is able to deliver these to the people.
Mochoboroane said he was banking on his youthfulness to bring economic change to the country. He compared himself to the newly elected French president, Immanuel Macron.
“He is 39 years old and I am also 39 and I only have two competitors being Ntate (Thomas) Thabane who is 77 years and Ntate (Pakalitha) Mosisili who is 72 years. So I am going to win,” he said.

Mochoboroane said what happened in France is a message to Lesotho that this is the right time for change.
“I have two months away from my home just to make sure that I win this election,” he added.

He also said he was preparing to take over from people who worked hard but who are now tired.
“While I was working as minister of energy I launched electricity schemes but unfortunately while working towards (implementing my plans) I was then reshuffled from the Ministry of Energy,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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