MASERU — Former natural resources minister, Monyane Moleleki, has challenged the police and government to investigate his financial affairs to their “hearts’ content”.
And he claimed he is confident that at the end of that investigation he will “come out as clean as snow on a mountain”.
Moleleki was speaking to the Lesotho Times on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after the police told the High Court they were dropping their investigation into his financial affairs.
The police have been investigating the deputy Democratic Congress (DC) leader for the past three months for alleged corruption and money laundering.
As part of the investigation they froze accounts of an orphanage he owns before raiding his house, office and orphanage in Machache.
Initially the police had been given two weeks to charge him.
When they failed the High Court ordered that the accounts be opened. The police then made an urgent application pleading for more time to investigate Moleleki.
However on Tuesday the police threw in the towel saying they had found no case against Moleleki.
That decision, Moleleki said, vindicates his position that the investigation was politically motivated.
He said although the case has been stopped he still challenges the police to thoroughly investigate him.
“I am saying they should investigate me thoroughly, both locally and internationally. This is an open challenge to the government and the police,” Moleleki said.
“I assure them that at the end of it all they will come out with nothing. I will come out as clean as snow on a mountain.”
But he says after investigating him the police must then investigate everyone else who has been in previous governments.
“And I am talking here about the Prime Minister himself (Tom Thabane), his deputy (Mothetjoa Metsing) and many other ministers who were in the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government with me.”
Thabane was the minister of communication in the LCD government before he left in 2006 to form the All Basotho Convention which is now a senior partner in the coalition government of the LCD and the Basotho National Party.
“If the idea is to investigate possible corruption,” he added, “then we must all run the gauntlets.”
“I don’t have a problem with an investigation that is fair and includes everyone.
“I am also open to the idea of declaring my assets. I will comply with any inquiry but we must all undergo the same process,” Moleleki said.
He said the investigation and the declaration of assets must be transparent and include everyone “so that no one can claim immunity on the basis of their current position in the government”.
Moleleki said he believed the police only started investigating him after instructions from the cabinet.
“I got to know soon after that cabinet meeting that a decision had been made to have me investigated. That is the investigation was maliciously determined and politically motivated,” he said.
He said it was the cabinet that ordered the police to freeze his orphanage’s bank accounts.
“It’s unfortunate when ministers have strong feelings to instruct police to pursue some cases”.
The former minister alleged that although the investigation was targeted at him it was also meant to discredit and destabilise the DC.
“By attacking me they were not only casting aspersions on me alone but the party as well,” he said.
He said the coalition government wanted to discredit the DC because it has weaknesses that make it unsustainable.
“A majority of one in parliament is too narrow for comfort,” he added.
Moleleki said the DC was already seeing ominous signs of an “undesirable interference” in the civil service by the government as it seeks to purge perceived DC supporters.
“It’s still early days but the little we have seen points to a lot of attacks on the civil service. There is an attempt to make the civil service political.”