IT would be easy to dismiss Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader and former ruling Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki’s allegations of rampant corruption in the current seven parties’ coalition government as the sour grapes of a man who is no longer dining at the best tables on the gravy train.
But there is no smoke without fire especially where it concerns our government with its propensity for scandal as seen through some highly questionable and as yet unresolved tender awards.
As we report elsewhere, Mr Moleleki who served as Police Minister has made sordid allegations that the coalition government partners carved out the country’s security agencies among themselves ensuring all available vacancies were filled by their party supporters.
And in pointing the accusing finger, Mr Moleleki did not exonerate himself, stating instead, that he was part of “a corruption act” of enlisting 250 police recruits from the seven parties’ support base to undergo training at the Police Training College (PTC) last year.
“I am one of the people within government that made 22 000 young men and women of this country to wait for long hours in the sun in the hope they would get jobs when we knew we already had our people listed somewhere for the police jobs,” Mr Moleleki said, adding, “I dare Ntate Mosisili to come here and tell me I’m lying over this, we did this together”.
He said they received a whopping 22 000 applications from all over the country when there were only 250 vacancies available at the PTC and proceeded to make young hopefuls to bake in the sun for days on end when “we, together with Ntate Mosisili had already divided the vacancies among ourselves to say DC was going to get 181, 45 for LCD and so on”.
And he said the shenanigans were repeated at the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) where they let 15 000 young people apply for 100 vacancies they had already apportioned among their supporters.
“I decided to walk out of such embarrassing corruption,” Mr Moleleki said of his December 2016 departure from the DC after abortive attempts to withdraw the party from government which he accused of corruption, nepotism and many other ills.
Predictably, Dr Mosisili’s Economic and Political Advisor, Fako Likoti dismissed Mr Moleleki as a man whose utterances were motivated by a desperate bid for power.
He said, “Ntate Moleleki seems to be gathering everything and anything to portray government as bad as he could but the fact of the matter is that he cannot provide proof of what he is saying”.
It could well be that Mr Moleleki may not be able to prove his utterances but then again it is notoriously difficult to prove such allegations even if they are true.
On the other hand, Mr Moleleki was Minister of Police and as such his utterances cannot be dismissed so lightly.
After all this is a government which has not helped matters lurching from one scandal to another, from the Nikuv tenders which were found to be improper in a court of law in Israel to the still-raging Bidvest fleet tender storm.
We dare not outline other alleged corruption cases which are sub judice for fear of interfering with court processes.
It is however safe to say that whether true or false and whether for selfish or for altruistic motives, Mr Moleleki has certainly torched a storm with these allegations.
And the issues he raised could well be just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. There could be far worse shenanigans going on and being swept under the carpets in the corridors of power.
It could well take another disgruntled politician to spill more beans and while we await that, the damage continues to be inflicted on the country.
And in such circumstances, Lesotho will remain at the bottom of the pile while countries such as Botswana who had similar indices of poverty and underdevelopment at independence continue to thrive as a result of zero tolerance for corruption.