Lesotho to weed out corrupt civil servants

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MASERU — The government is conducting a forensic audit to weed out corrupt civil servants, Finance Minister Timothy Thahane said yesterday.

Thahane was answering questions during a discussion session after presenting his 2012/2013 fiscal year budget speech in parliament.

“The ongoing forensic audit has already seen some civil servants lose their jobs,” Thahane said.

The government is losing millions of maloti through corruption.

This had to change if the country is to develop, the minister said.

“We all need to work together to transform business and the way we do things.”

He said there was no need to hold on to old ways of doing things when the “results are not so good”.

“There is an obsession by our people to follow procedures rather than attaining results. Procurements take longer than necessary and simple processes like registering a car take forever.

“We need to overhaul the way business is done in order to develop,” Thahane noted.

“I am sorry to say that our government prepares budget to budget with projected monies from other ministries. That is not good at all. It is a recipe for disaster.”

Thahane said the public should play their part in the running of business and not leave everything in the hands of the government.

“The economic growth of this country is everybody’s responsibility and not that of the government only”.

“Groups and non-governmental organisations should make an input in the preparation of the budget. They should take and submit proposals on how the budget should look like,” he said.

“Budget allocations are not very different from last year’s because the economic crisis has created a
contraction.”

Thahane said the government was committed to improving the quality of educations at the National University of Lesotho (NUL).

“We need to improve the quality of education in our higher institutions of learning. Government wants to transform NUL into a world-class university.

“It should be one that attracts highly qualified lecturers. We need those lecturers to transform it into a good university,” Thahane said.

He added that government plans to have all schools in the country connected to high speed internet.

Government also plans to improve working conditions and incentives to attract and retain good teachers.

“We can only be able to retain teachers if we have good infrastructure.”

Thahane said the government was ready to allocate more funding to the agriculture sector “only when clean proposals for  mproving agricultural productions are made”.

“Budget allocation for agriculture is smaller because we have not yet received proposals from farmers on how to improve farming,” he noted.

The agriculture and food security ministry has this year been allocated M61.7 million to rehabilitate irrigation schemes, farmers training centres and woolsheds.

Part of the funds would be used to recapitalise the Lesotho Agricultural College.

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