21 February 2018

Lesotho: Local Govt Drags Feet-PAC

The Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs has been criticized for dragging feet in service deliver.

This was said during its first appearance before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday.

The PAC Chairperson, Mr. Selibe Mochoboroane said the Ministry has failed to carry out some of the projects allocated money for this financial year which ends on March 31.

Mr. Mochoboroane cited two urban roads for Maputsoe and Maseru at Mohalalitoe, which were allocated M120 million for the designs but with one month to go before the end of the financial year and no work has been started.

He commented with a concern that the money which was intended to create job opportunities in order to change the lives of Basotho will end up not having been utilised.

Again, he said the Semonkong bus terminus which was also allocated M1 Million has also not started.

Mr. Mochoboroane also highlighted that there are some of the former community counselors who have not been paid their gratuities following their end of office term before the local government elections on September 30, 2017, saying the law stipulates that should six months period pass without having been paid, the gratuities will fall off.

In response to the questions from PAC, Local Government Principal Secretary, Advocate Tšeliso Mokoko acknowledged that construction of the roads in question has not started, however mentioned that there will be a sod turning for Mohalalitoe road this Friday, saying there is a likelihood that it will not be complete by the end of the financial year.

In response to the construction of Semonkong Bus terminus, he said the delay was caused by a dispute over tendering as some of the companies had protested that the process was not fairly done, noting that it was however later discovered that the correct procedures were followed.

About the Community Counselors who have not been paid, Advocate Mokoko promised to ensure that they receive their gratuities within the specified time, though he could not indicate how far the payment process was.

This was the first day for the Ministry of Local Government to appear before PAC after the Ministry of Education and Training on Monday and Tuesday.

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