Lebakae upbeat on election chances
FORMER Health ministry principal secretary (PS) Tsietsi Lebakae insists his 2014 suspension from Lerotholi Polytechnic over a M13 million tax scandal will not affect his chances of winning a parliamentary seat in the 3 June 2017 elections.
Mr Lebakae, who was the college’s chief accounting officer in 2014, was suspended after the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) indicated the tertiary institution had not been paying tax as required by the law.
However, in an interview this past week on the sidelines of the announcement of nominated candidates for the Mabote 29 constituency elections, Mr Lebakae said the 2014 tax scandal would not be a factor in the elections. He is the DC candidate for the constituency.
“Fortunately enough, the Mabote 29 electorate are literate people who know very well that I was never convicted of any crime in connection with my tenure at Fokothi,” Mr Lebakae said, adding that there was no denying that the institution owed the LRA M13 million.
He said this did not mean that he had done anything wrong, adding that the golden handshake he received upon leaving the institution was proof he was innocent in the matter.
Mr Lebakae said the Mabote electorate needed a leader of his calibre who stopped at nothing to ensure that people’s lives were uplifted.
“Mabote people and even the All Basotho Convention (ABC) supporters are not happy with service delivery in this constituency, and my track record on service delivery speaks volumes,” he said, adding he would snatch the constituency from the ABC which held the seat in the Ninth Parliament.
Mr Lebakae said his main focus would be on middle and lower income earners as they had been “neglected for many years”.
There was also an urgent need, he said, to come up with policies to respond to the needs of pensioners and elderly people.
Mr Lebakae said there was also a need for the government to come up with policies that responded to the needs of young people to ensure they had productive careers.
“Because the public service cannot absorb everyone, we have high unemployment rates among graduates and Form E students. We therefore need to come up with policies that respond to the needs of young people and ensure that such policies are in line with their interests,” he said.
In a separate interview, ABC candidate and former legislator, Fako Moshoeshoe said there was no doubt they would win back the constituency.
“Numbers don’t lie. Our growth in different sub-branches is rapid and I am sure we will win back this constituency.
“We are working hard to ensure that we have different projects responding to the needs of our people,” Mr Moshoeshoe said.
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