THE chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Selibe Mochoboroane, says his portfolio committee will leave no stone unturned in its quest to ensure that civil servants who embezzle or mismanage public funds are brought to book.
The PAC has uncovered massive irregularities involving millions of maloti since it began grilling senior civil servants on 5 February this year. It has also sought to have four senior officials from different ministries imprisoned for misleading the National Assembly.
The portfolio committee has recommended that an official in the Ministry of Education and Training’s Education Facilities Unit (EFU), ‘Maliteboho Makhoali, be jailed for misusing M300 000 earmarked for the development of a school in Ketane.
According to Mr Mochoboroane, the PAC makes recommendations for the courts of law to consider.
The PAC also recommended that Berea District Council Secretary, ‘Mathabang Tlali; Economic Planner, Ntsotiseng Motaung and another official identified as Mosebi Mokhubu be slapped with a one-year jail term each or a M1 000 fine for lying to the committee.
The trio had lied that the Berea District Council had constructed roads in the Ha Makoanyane area. This was disputed by the councilor, Semekane Mzilikazi, who came rushing to parliament immediately after hearing the trio’s presentations which were aired on national radio.
This week the PAC visited Berea and established that the three roads had not been constructed as alleged by the Berea District Council officials.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Mr Mochoboroane said the Berea trip was necessary to provide the court with evidence before it could endorse the committee’s decision to have the three officers jailed for perjury.
He said the PAC was determined to ensure that all offending public servants were held accountable for their actions.
He said upon completing the parliamentary hearings, they would write a comprehensive report with clear recommendations to parliament.
He said the PAC will also regularly collaborate with the police and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) to ensure that legal action is taken against the wrong doers.
Mr Mochoboroane said it was not the first time that the PAC had uncovered massive graft, adding the culprits were not punished because of lack of meaningful follow-ups on the issues.
“This (Tenth Parliament) is very different from the others and every parliamentary committee is going an extra mile to do its job.
“Rest assured we will make follow-ups and we are already doing that by using the powers and privileges bestowed upon us as a parliamentary body. We are using those powers to penalise culprits and follow up on issues to ensure that the penalties are endorsed by the courts.”
He called on all parliamentary committees to provide concrete evidence of their findings to ensure that the ongoing parliamentary proceedings yielded meaningful outcomes.