First Lady dresses down PS

First Lady dresses down PS

MASERU – FIRST Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane last Friday rebuked Finance Ministry principal secretary, Motena Tšolo, in public for allegedly failing to provide funds to ministries for developmental projects. The dressing down of the PS happened during a surprise tour of ministries by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. ’Maesaiah was accompanying her husband.
’Maesaiah told Ts’olo that ministries are always complaining that they do not get funds from the Ministry of Finance when they make requisitions.

The attack on the PS has however attracted withering criticism from the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’s spokesman Teboho Sekata.
Sekata accused ’Maesaiah of acting beyond her powers by taking the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to task.
He said ’Maesaiah does not have a right to question ministries about their competence in the execution of their duties.

He said it is only the Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who has a right to do so and not the First Lady.
He said ’Maesiah had therefore usurped the powers of her husband in doing so, adding this was really bad because she was doing so in the presence of her husband.
Sekata said the First Lady thinks she is building her party whereas she is plunging it into darkness.

The two Principal Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Public Works and Transport respectively were at crossroads over the issue of service delivery.
Mothabathe Hlalele, the principal secretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport was asked to concede that the roads have not been built because Tšolo said the government is broke.
Hlalele said he had requested money from the Finance Ministry but could not be assisted because he was told there is no money.

He said a contractor who was engaged to repair a road from Lancer’s Gap and Sefikeng has abandoned the work because he could not be paid due to lack of money.
Hlalele said there is expertise and willingness to construct the roads but they are hindered by a lack of funds.
He said it is true that their roads are not in a good state.

Tšolo, on the other hand, said she has never received any request that there are some roads which needed to be repaired.
“There is money from the Road Fund that is budgeted for the maintenance of roads,” she said.
The visibly irritated ’Maesaiah demanded answers from Tšolo why the roads are not being repaired and maintained.

She said she was informed that Tšolo is not giving out money to the ministries because she keeps saying Lesotho does not have money.
She said if the vehicles get damaged because of the bad roads, it is the owner of the car who will fight with the police.
Sekata said the First Lady must deal with issues that fall within her mandate such as dealing with issues of cancer and welfare of orphans and not seek to make principal secretaries to account on how they are doing their jobs.

Staff Reporter

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