Po­lice warned against cor­rup­tion

Sunday Express - - Front Page - Mamohlakola Le­tuka

PO­LICE of­fi­cers have warned against en­gag­ing in acts of cor­rup­tion as these tar­nished the im­age of the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vices (LMPS) whose man­date is to up­hold the laws of the land and pro­vide safety and se­cu­rity for all cit­i­zens.

Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Paseka Mokete, de­liv­ered the warn­ing at a re­cent press con­fer­ence in Maseru that was held as part of the build up to the In­ter­na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Day.

In­ter­na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Day has been ob­served an­nu­ally, on 9 De­cem­ber, since the pas­sage of the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion Against Cor­rup­tion on 31 Oc­to­ber, 2003. It is a day for po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, govern­ments, le­gal bod­ies and lobby groups to work to­gether against cor­rup­tion by or­gan­is­ing events to en­gage the public to ef­fec­tively fight against cor­rup­tion and fraud.

This year’s theme is: ‘United against Cor­rup­tion for De­vel­op­ment, Peace and Se­cu­rity’.

Speak­ing at the press con­fer­ence, Com­mis­sioner Mokete, said it as the LMPS’ mis­sion to pro­vide safety and se­cu­rity to all cit­i­zens, pre­vent and re­duce crime while re­spect­ing and pro­tect­ing the hu­man rights of all.

He said that they were work­ing closely with the Direc­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) and the Le­sotho Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (LRA) in the fight against cor­rup­tion.

“The DCEO and LRA are our part­ners in the fight against cor­rup­tion and to de­nounce all ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­taken to­wards the com­mis­sion of this crime,” Com­mis­sioner Mokete said.

“It is an un­de­ni­able fact that we can­not suc­cess­fully fight cor­rup­tion un­less the public in­clud­ing me­dia give us in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“A per­son com­mits the of­fence of cor­rupt­ing public ser­vants if he gives or agrees to of­fer to gifts to public of­fi­cers in ex­change for cer­tain ben­e­fits.

“There have been fre­quent press re­ports al­leg­ing that govern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor of­fi­cials have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties and have been found guilty.”

He added that cor­rup­tion hin­dered so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try as it de­terred po­ten­tial in­vestors from in­vest­ing in Le­sotho.

For her part, LRA Act­ing Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral, Idia Pe­nane, said it was im­per­a­tive for her or­gan­i­sa­tion to join in the fight against cor­rup­tion be­cause it af­fected rev­enue col­lec­tion which was cru­cial to the coun­try’s econ­omy.

“We be­lieve that in com­mem­o­rat­ing the In­ter­na­tional Anti-cor­rup­tion day, we are rais­ing aware­ness against cor­rup­tion,” Ms Pe­nane said, adding that cor­rup­tion took var­i­ous forms such as tax eva­sion, smug­gling of goods in­volv­ing the col­lu­sion of of­fi­cials and the public.

“We be­lieve that through such col­lec­tive ini­tia­tives, we can be vic­to­ri­ous against cor­rup­tion and con­se­quently at­tain de­vel­op­ment, peace and se­cu­rity for all Ba­sotho,” she said.

DCEO Direc­tor-Gen­eral, Ad­vo­cate Borotho Mat­soso said cor­rup­tion was a huge chal­lenge in Le­sotho, adding that it was there­fore not sur­pris­ing that Le­sotho had plunged to po­si­tion 83 in 2016 from 55 in 2014 in the Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tion In­dex rank­ings.

“As a re­sult of cor­rup­tion, ba­sic ser­vice de­liv­ery to the peo­ple suf­fers badly, be it health, ed­u­ca­tion, li­cens­ing, re­cruit­ment, jus­tice.

“Our im­pas­sioned plea to all our peo­ple through this cam­paign is that we should all stand up and con­front the phe­nom­e­non of cor­rup­tion of cor­rup­tion and res­o­lutely say, no to cor­rup­tion,” Ad­vo­cate Mat­soso said.

Mean­while, Maseru will host an anti-cor­rup­tion sym­po­sium in­volv­ing 200 stake­hold­ers drawn from all sec­tors of so­ci­ety, on 4 De­cem­ber. This will be fol­lowed by the Anti-cor­rup­tion Walk from Ha Ne­lese to Maseru Club on 8 De­cem­ber.

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