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No end in sight to NRA internal squabbles

CENTRAL BANK

Mohloai Mpesi

The chairperson of the National Reforms Authority (NRA)’s Economic Committee Mammako Mohale Lerata came out guns-blazing against NRA Chairperson Chief Letsoela Pelele for what she labelled his dictatorship style of leadership.  

Lerata told the media this week after her committee’s report to include the office of Accountant General in the Constitution of Lesotho nosedived as was motivated by Letsoela that the committee should go back to include the bench-markings and where they copied the implementations they sought to reform.    

Letsoela made a presentation that included his lengthy tenure and experience of working at the Ministry of Finance. Letsoela ridiculed the report stating that the office of Accountant General has duties to receive government revenues not to collect as that one is done by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA). He first warned the chairperson before they could present that the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro said “the issue of Accountant General is a no go.”

“Account General is the head master of the government because he pays all the government things, produces accounting reports to the Auditor General.

“He or she is not a policy maker in terms of the structure of government but Principal Secretary (PS) of Finance and Accountant General implements them. PS is appointed by the Public Service and we are causing instability in the ministry if we say he should be appointed by the PS.

“Let’s do justice to this country, we can’t pass this recommendation without being convinced, the committee should return to do a benchmarking in their reports,” he said.

It was then that the committee was told to step down the podium or risk being thrown out of the premises, which incited ire from members of the committee.      

Lerata explained that Letsoela seeks to serve only his own interests without considering other people’s intentions in the process of reforming.

“Ntate Letsoela is a dictator and I am not ashamed to say it to him and to the world. He is a dictator! And he is leading this authority in an unjust manner because he is leading us astray from the orders we were given by Basotho.

“If ever we will be denied the opportunity to tighten the screws and let the country’s finances be controlled by those people who are eager to misappropriate the funds,” she said.

“After presenting our Accountant General report yesterday, we were asked questions by the plenary but because of time we were told to finish in the morning. I was surprised to hear the chair giving out his teachings about how the accountant general office works because he has an experience of working at the Ministry of Finance.

She said it is unfair that he forced her to leave without answering the questions that were asked from the floor.

“He is preaching about his achievements yet what he is saying does not appear in the Plenary II, he does not want us to include the office of accountant general in the Constitution of Lesotho.

“We are doing our duty as a committee following the Plenary II directives to reinforce whatever the weak links in other to build the strong economy and regulation of money in the country, and to do that we advised ourselves to fortify the powers of accountant general,” she said.

She said during their consultations they approached the Ministry of Finance; and learned that the members of NRA do not want the liberty of Central Bank and Accountant General to an extent that they were irate that every cent is paid through Central Bank.

She said the authority cannot finish its mandate on time because Letsoela changes things whenever his heart desires and rebuke everything that they agree to.

“One wonders if we will go back and forth because of this behaviour, he wants to reform according to how he wants not how Basotho wants,” she said.

“The Prime Minister does not have the right to dictate our work of reforming; we are given the mandate by the parliament. We answer to neither the Cabinet nor Prime Minister.  He was only misdirecting himself and he cannot deter our committee. We will continue to do the job we were chosen to do,” she said.             

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