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More heads must roll

The dismissal of ’Marapelang Raphuthing, the Finance and Administration Director in the Prime Minister’s Office, is an indication that corruption is rampant in government.
Eight of the 12 charges that Raphuthing was facing were related to corruption.
The disciplinary panel found that she abused her position to approve the procurement of goods and services from a company linked to her son.
In May this year Kubuthu Makhakhe, the Principal Secretary for Administration in the Prime Minister’s office with whom Raphuthing worked closely, was also found guilty of corruption after he approved payments to a company linked to his wife.
Although the panel recommended that he be redeployed the fact remains that Makhakhe was judged guilty of corruption related charges.
We believe the cases of Raphuthing and Makhakhe are an indication of the high levels of corruption in the civil service.
They clearly indicate that there is corruption in the higher echelons of our government.
They confirm that even the prime minister’s office has been corrupted.
A fish rots from the head.
If these officials could engage in corruption right in the prime minister’s office then we shudder to imagine what happens in other departments in the government.
We have no doubt that there are many civil servants in other government departments pillaging the treasury through sleaze.
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili must be commended for taking bold measures to deal with corruption in his office.
His challenge now is to ensure that every government department deals with their own “rotten tomatoes”.
He has set the example and must demand that his ministers do the same.
By hiring a forensic audit firm to investigate officials in his office Mosisili has admitted that corruption has become a serious problem and that even his most trusted lieutenants might have been corrupted.
It is the kind of admission we need from ministers and senior civil servants if we are to start winning the battle against graft.
As a country, we must admit that corruption has become a threat to our prosperity and even stability.
It is perhaps the biggest threat to our battle against poverty.
Money for national projects is enriching the few connected people in this country.
Tenders are being rigged to benefit incompetent but connected construction companies.
If there was no corruption in this country there will be enough schools and hospitals for our people.
Programmes like the Block Farming Scheme which was meant to help poor farmers would have succeeded.
We must admit, as a nation, that this looting of national resources cannot continue.
It is neither sustainable nor tolerable.
We are a poor country already struggling to sustain ourselves.
The Southern Africa Customs Union, our erstwhile cash cow, is running dry.
Tax revenue is under threat as more companies grapple with the economic recession and empty more people into the streets.
Donors who have helped us thus far have challenges of their own.
Many donor countries have implemented austerity measures that have cut their aid to countries like Lesotho.
Foreign investors are definitely not flocking to Lesotho.
Yet amidst all this our problems are mounting.
We have sick people who need medicine and orphans that need care. There are a growing number of children to feed and educate.
We need to stop corruption to conserve the few resources we have.

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