Maliehe promises to ‘check the books’

Maliehe promises to ‘check the books’

BOTHA-BUTHE – CONTROVERSIAL MP for Butha-Buthe, Motlohi Maliehe, this week promised to the check the books to see if there was any corruption associated with King Letsie III’s birthday celebrations. Maliehe, who is also Tourism Minister and chairman for the ruling All Basotho Convention, had strongly opposed the hiring of goods and services from outside Butha-Buthe for the King’s ceremony.

Two companies from the district sued the Ministry of Home Affairs, which runs state celebrations, and the King’s Office.
The companies wanted the court to block the ministry and the King’s Office from awarding tenders to certain companies and people who were not from Butha-Buthe.
Maliehe told thepost during the celebration that according to his observation, “all things used at the King’s birthday belonged to Butha-Buthe residents”.

‘‘The tent from Motsekuoa, in Mafeteng, which I saw the Principal Secretary of Home affairs and its owners mount, was not used,” Maliehe said sarcastically.
“It turned out to be a white elephant,” he said.
He also said he was uncertain whether Maseru caterers with their expensive plates amounting to M2 070 managed to cater for the birthday.

He said if by any mistake the Home Affairs Ministry awarded them the tender that would be a waste of public funds.
Home Affairs principal secretary ’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie could not be reached for comment.
Maliehe was still adamant that only Butha-Buthe residents were eligible to supply services and goods for the King’s birthday.

‘‘My understanding and wish was that only Butha-Buthe caterers supply food for the ceremony. However, if others did cook, we will soon find out with other ministers, of home affairs and finance because we agreed to follow up on who received payment,’’ he said.
‘‘Also, we will check the books to ensure that no corruption occurred throughout concerning this ceremony and previous ones,’’ he added.

He mentioned that he is satisfied with how the celebration went because it turned out to be the biggest ceremony they have ever hosted.
‘‘And the first time it was hosted here, attendees were not even half of those who came this time, the peace and happiness were satisfactory,’’ he said.

The King began the celebrations with a mass at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Mission in Makhoakhoeng on Monday while on the second day, the birthday, he opened the monument of Lethole, the 19th century chief of Makhoakhoa clan. Lethole was Moshoeshoe I’s ally who fought alongside him against the Boer settlers and Batlokoa of ’Manthatisi.

’Mapule Motsopa

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