IN a highly usual development, Development Planning Minister Selibe Mochoboroane has made sensational corruption allegations against Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.
We must state from the onset that we hold no brief for Mr Mochoboroane, Dr Majoro or any politician for that matter. Ours is simply to be the eyes and ears of the nation. We have a duty to hold political leaders and other public officials to scrutiny and objectively report on their conduct of public duties.
It is for this reason that we think Mr Mochoboroane’s allegations must not be dismissed as hot air, they must be probed to determine whether there is any truth to them.
As reported by the Sunday Express in its latest edition, Dr Majoro and Mr Mochoboroane are engaged in a nasty fight. This after Dr Majoro accused the MEC leader and his Lesotho Congress of Democracy (LCD) counterpart, Mothetjoa Metsing, of attempting to blackmail the government into stopping their treason and murder trial. Dr Majoro made the comments while addressing a public gathering in Mount Moorosi, Quthing last week on Wednesday.
Mr Mochoboroane, who is also leader of the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), reacted angrily to Dr Majoro’s allegations by making sensational claims of his own against the premier and deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC). He accused Dr Majoro of brazen corruption in several instances including the awarding of the government fleet tender to a local taxi organisation in 2019.
“Majoro is not at all holy and he knows very well that he is corrupt,” a fuming Mr Mochoboroane told the Sunday Express.
“Ntate Majoro is corrupt and I have evidence in that regard. He has his own case of corruption that was presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP Hlalefang Motinyane) by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) boss, Mahlomola Manyokole. This is in connection with the awarding of the government fleet tender. The tender was awarded while Majoro was still the minister of finance. He has therefore moved to have Manyokole fired to stop the case because he (Majoro) has power and influence.
“While I was chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), I even called him (Majoro) to testify and he refused to come until I heard his testimony in camera. I told him to his face that he was directly involved in corruptly awarding the fleet tender to the Maseru Star Taxi Association.
“I even told him that he had directed the Lesotho Post Bank manager to give loans to the taxi association’s members to enable them to buy taxis and then rent them out to the government. This is absolute corruption,” Mr Mochoboroane added.
He went as far as accusing the prime minister of conniving with the police command to block an investigation into the possible murder of a Home Affairs official because a close friend of the premier was implicated in the killing of the official. He did not name the premier’s “close friend”.
The 39-year-old Khahliso Soro was a senior procurement officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He was found dead in September 2018 near his home in Ha- Pita, Maseru almost a week after he went missing.
His decomposing body was found in an unoccupied house near his own residence by children who had been playing nearby.
His mysterious death left tongues wagging as he died a few days after he promised the Public Accounts Committee that he would name and shame high-ranking officers in the Home Affairs ministry who had embezzled public funds.
As if these allegations were not sensational and damaging enough, Mr Mochoboroane claimed he had more dirt on the premier which he would reveal in due course if the latter continued provoking him.
The minister has made serious allegations and they ought to be investigated.
We call upon the relevant institutions to do their work as this will go a long way in protecting the country’s image as a country that respects the rule of law and upholds the principle of equality of all before the law.