Mets­ing must ex­plain ‘miss­ing’ M20 mil­lion - Mo­lapo

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Le­tuka Chafotsa

MA­PUT­SOE — Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) deputy leader, Joang Mo­lapo, has launched a broad­side at deputy prime min­is­ter and LCD leader, Mothe­joa Mets­ing, sen­sa­tion­ally ac­cus­ing him of not ac­count­ing for M20 mil­lion of the M53 mil­lion al­lo­cated for de­vel­op­men­tal projects at the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and Chief­tain­ship Af­fairs Min­istry which Mr Mets­ing heads.

Chief Mo­lapo claimed that the money had been al­lo­cated to fa­cil­i­tate devel­op­ment projects for com­mu­ni­ties un­der the stew­ard­ship of Mr Mets­ing but a huge chunk of it had van­ished.

“Mr Mets­ing has to tell the na­tion what hap­pened to the re­main­ing M20 mil­lion,” Chief Mo­lapo said, also tak­ing a swipe at Mr Mets­ing for not want­ing to ap­pear be­fore lo­cal judges over the cor­rup­tion charges raised against him.

Mr Mets­ing stands ac­cused of re­ceiv­ing kick­backs from a com­pany awarded a lu­cra­tive roads con­struc­tion project by a lo­cal author­ity that falls un­der his ju­ris­dic­tion. Af­ter be­ing asked by the Di­rec­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) to ex­plain the source of large amounts of cash de­posits into his ac­count, Mr Mets­ing opted to go to court claim­ing his con­sti­tu­tional rights had been vi­o­lated. But he re­fused to have the case heard by lo­cal judges ac­cus­ing them of bias.

“He wants to be the prime min­is­ter of this coun­try but does not want to stand trial be­fore lo­cal judges,” re­marked Chief Mo­lapo.

Con­tacted to com­ment on Chief Mo­lapo’s al­le­ga­tions, LCD Act­ing Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Tšeliso Mokhosi, dis­missed them as be­ing “typ­i­cal of how the BNP op­er­ates by not telling the truth.”

Chief Mo­lapo, who is also Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter, made the ac­cu­sa­tions against Mr Mets­ing at a rally in Ma­put­soe this week.

He also blamed the main op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Congress (DC) for the coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to de­liver on its prom­ises to the na­tion. chief Mo­lapo said the coali­tion gov­ern­ment did all it could to de­liver on its prom­ises to the na­tion but the DC had al­ways “stood in the way of progress”.

“We tried our best to de­liver ser­vices to the ex­pected stan­dards but the DC would al­ways thwart our progress,” Chief Mo­lapo said.

“They hin­dered our plans be­cause they did not want the na­tion to know the truth.

“We had planned to give the el­derly M800 within five years and that mile­stone looked to be achiev­able. How­ever, we were not able to de­liver be­cause of the op­po­si­tion.”

He said the coali­tion gov­ern­ment had, within a year of com­ing to power, man­aged to re­view civil ser­vants’ salaries while the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion had “never cared about their plight.”

He said the BNP was the only party with a man­i­festo which could de­liver what Ba­sotho most needed.

The pre­vi­ous regime, Chief Mo­lapo added, which came to power in 1993 had re­tarded eco­nomic growth, yet “ev­ery per­son in Le­sotho could see the strides made by the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in re­sus­ci­tat­ing the econ­omy within two years”.

He ac­cused the pre­vi­ous congress ad­min­is­tra­tion of chang­ing ev­ery in­sti­tu­tion which bore the name “na­tional”.

“For in­stance, the Na­tional Teach­ers Train­ing Col­lege (NTTC) was changed to Le­sotho Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion (LCE), and they were on the verge to chang­ing the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Le­sotho (NUL),” said Chief Mo­lapo.

“All they want to do is to de­stroy na­tional de­vel­op­men­tal projects. We no longer have a devel­op­ment bank in this coun­try, and all the ini­tia­tives (BNP founder) Chief Le­abua Jonathan es­tab­lished have been de­stroyed,” he said .ini­tia­tives such as ir­ri­ga­tion projects launched un­der the Jonathan ad­min­is­tra­tion, Chief Mo­lapo said, had been left to fall apart by congress ad­min­is­tra­tions.

“Where is the Hololo, Phuthi­at­sana, Khomo-khoana and Masianokeng agri­cul­tural projects to men­tion but a few, all those were de­stroyed by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mo­lapo, ir­ri­ga­tion projects had been iden­ti­fied as an im­por­tant tool to stim­u­late eco­nomic growth and ru­ral devel­op­ment as well as be­ing the cor­ner­stone of food se­cu­rity and poverty re­duc­tion in the coun­try.

“Th­ese congress peo­ple heav­ily rely on rain­fed agri­cul­ture which some­times does not bear sus­tain­able re­sults be­cause, dur­ing pe­ri­ods of vari­able rain­fall and re­cur­rent droughts, the agri­cul­ture sec­tor suf­fers re­sult­ing in ad­verse con­se­quences on the econ­omy of the coun­try,” Chief Mo­lapo said.

He said the BNP’S foes came up with a no­con­fi­dence mo­tion in par­lia­ment against their coali­tion gov­ern­ment part­ner, Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane, “be­cause they (the pre­mier’s enemies) did not want peo­ple to know how cor­rupt they are.”

“All they want is to get off scot-free af­ter loot­ing public funds and, thus, hin­der the coun­try’s devel­op­ment and eco­nomic growth,” Chief Mo­lapo said.

Mr Mokhosi, the LCD act­ing sec­re­tarygen­eral, has since launched a tirade against Chief Mo­lapo over the lat­ter’s vir­tual ac­cu­sa­tions that Mr Mets­ing had stolen the M20 mil­lion ear­marked for devel­op­ment projects.

“His com­ments are typ­i­cal of a BNP mem­ber who does not tell the na­tion the truth and does not even un­der­stand gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions,” Mr Mokhosi, who is also En­ergy, Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Wa­ter Af­fairs min­is­ter, said.

“There is no way a min­is­ter can be given such a large amount of money, since there are chan­nels in the trans­fer of gov­ern­ment funds to min­istries. The funds are never de­posited in the min­is­ter’s ac­count.

“It clearly shows that Mr Mo­lapo did not learn any­thing about gov­ern­ment pro­ce­dures in the past two and half years. He is telling peo­ple lies.”

On the is­sue of ir­ri­ga­tion projects of which Chief Mo­lapo ac­cused congress par­ties of destroying, Mr Mokhosi said they are a good idea although the na­tion­al­ist par­ties did not know how to im­ple­ment them, adding that the congress par­ties would build wa­ter reser­voirs if elected to power.

Mr Mokhosi fur­ther said con­trary to Chief Mo­lapo’s as­ser­tion that congress par­ties de­stroyed na­tional de­vel­op­men­tal projects, “it was BNP mem­bers who de­stroyed sta­te­owned en­ter­prises and the Le­sotho Agri­cul­ture Bank be­cause they did not re­pay the loans they had taken”.

MIN­IS­TER of Home Af­fairs Joang Mo­lapo

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mothe­joa Mets­ing

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