PM warns civil servants against corruption

MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Monday warned civil servants to avoid corruption if they want to stay out of jail. Mosisili was speaking at the launch of the decentralisation and local government programme at ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre. The launch marked the transfer of services, human resources, finances, infrastructure and vehicles from the ministries of health, public works and transport to district, urban and community councils. The government says the move will improve service delivery to Basotho in rural villages. “Do not commit corruption because if you do you will be knocking on prison’s doors,” Mosisili said. “Refrain from the temptations of corruption and misuse of funds and property. Make full use of the little that will be put at your disposal.” Lesotho is currently ranked 77 out of 182 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index which was released earlier this year. A government commissioned survey released in July this year said the majority of Basotho surveyed believed corruption was now more widespread than it was 13 years ago. Mosisili urged government ministers to shed some of their commitments to councillors to improve efficiency. “To pass on the commitments to the local government will help you get rid of some of the workload. The expectation is for other ministries to follow suit,” he said. He said that it would not be helpful for ministries to hold on to power yet fail to deliver services. “It is very difficult to let go of power but what is the use of clinging on to it when you fail to serve the needs of the people,” Mosisili said. He urged councillors to discipline unruly civil servants.“When a civil servant misbehaves, councillors should get them in line. Do not wait for the ministers. “Now the buck stops with you. They should respect you and know that you are their bosses,” Mosisili said. Speaking at the same occasion Health Minister Mphu Ramatlapeng said the launch was a transfer of political power from the government to the people. “I must confess this has to be one of the happiest and most democratic day(s) of all the days in the history of this Kingdom,” Ramatlapeng said. “If democracy can be measured, we should all be convinced that we are more democratic today than ever before because we celebrate the launch of a process that marks the transfer of real political power from central government to the local government service,” she said.These are the first two ministries to transfer the decision-making process to local government councils in line with the provisions of the Local Government Act of 1997.

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