â€¦ Says gone are the days when DCEO was labelled a toothless watchdog
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offence (DCEO), Motlalekhotso Knorx Molelle, has declared an unyielding stance against corruption within the public service.
â€œGone are the days when DCEO was labelled a toothless watchdog. You will see its teeth soon. If this year ends without results, you must hold me accountable,â€ Molelle said.
This resolute commitment was voiced during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between five Southern African Development Community (SADC) anticorruption agencies, including South Africa, Botswana, eSwatini, and Namibia, held recently in Maseru.
The collaborative effort between these countries traces back to 2012 when it began with friendly competitions between government agencies.
These interactions eventually evolved into what is now officially recognised as the Anticorruption Games since 2016.
The games have since been hosted in various SADC member states, with Lesotho taking up the initiative to revive them after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Molelle emphasised that recent arrests made by the DCEO were just the tip of the iceberg, as more individuals involved in corruption would face legal consequences.
He highlighted ongoing collaborations with law enforcement agencies, noting that the Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Nthomeng Majara, had already called for more decisive action from stakeholders in the criminal justice system.
â€œWe have recently started seeing arrests made and we want to see prosecutions, convictions, and people wearing green or orange overalls. We have to capacitate our prosecution services and courts,â€ Molelle asserted.
He also revealed plans to establish an Anticorruption Steering Committee, aimed at fostering joint planning, priority setting, and target establishment among all stakeholders.
Molelle said: â€œThere will be completed investigations, convictions, and recovery of assets. If you do not see all that then you will know that these law enforcement agencies are not working. We need to start measuring what we do. It is through collaboration we will win this war.â€
He pointed out a notable success in a joint effort with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS), resulting in the apprehension of suspects in a case involving M50 million.
Molelle concluded with a stern promise, stating: â€œWe are on a campaign to recover all the stolen property, gone are those days when DCEO was labeled a toothless dog, you will see its teeth soon. If this year will end without results you must hold me accountable.â€
He expressed a preference for letting their results speak for them, underlining his dedication to the cause of eradicating corruption and ensuring a transparent and accountable government.
The Deputy Director General of Botswanaâ€™s Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Pricilla Israel, echoed Molelleâ€™s sentiments, affirming Botswanaâ€™s unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption and its participation in realizing the MOU’s objectives.
Israel praised Lesothoâ€™s initiative to revive the Anticorruption Expo and Educational tour, emphasizing its importance in reinvigorating and preparing officers for the challenges they face in combating corruption.
The event also served as a platform for anticorruption agencies across the SADC region to recommit themselves to the fight against corruption through collaborative efforts and the sharing of best practices.
This united front stands as a beacon of hope in the battle against corruption, aiming to restore public trust and dignity while holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.Top of Form