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Govt takes steps to recover stolen assets

Business

Neheng Mofoka

The Minister in Prime Minister’s office Limpho Tau on Friday laid down a plan to recover the government’s assets, some of which have allegedly been stolen.

The 11-member Assets Search and Recovery Task Team has been given a go-ahead by the cabinet to recover all assets, Tau said.

The team comprises staff from the prime minister’s office and ministries of public service and finance and development planning.

It also comprises members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and the National Security Service (NSS).

It started its work a fortnight ago, according to Tau.

Legal measures will be taken against people who would be found in possession of the government properties illegally,” he said.

These include movable and immovable properties.

Asked what the government will do when it finds that the land which initially belonged to it, has already been sold to an unsuspecting client, Tau said: The task team is mandated to find how the lease came into being and whether the transfers were made lawfully.

When the government property is given to an individual, there are procedures to be followed. If we find that somewhere the procedure was not followed, we have legal counsels who will advise on what to do in such cases,” he added.   

He further explained that the task force was formed on December 20, 2022, with the mandate to investigate and search thoroughly the government property inclusive of unutilised and utilised sites, government buildings and vehicles dating back to 1966 when Lesotho gained its independence.

The task force is expected to report every month on the progress of its work and submit a comprehensive report after six months.

The team is mandated to, among others, probe whether those living in government houses, acquired those houses lawfully.

If rented, the team will find out if the rent is being paid to the government.

According to Tau, the exercise was triggered by Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekanes inauguration speech on October 28, 2022.

Matekane said then that the government would develop and implement a plan to cut unnecessary government spending on fleet management and fuel consumption in the first 100 days.

Take stock of all government vehicles, rationalize them ad provide each local authority in Lesotho with at least one vehicle to enable them to conduct the business of government in 100 days.

Matekane had also said that it in 60 days, the government would identify all areas of public financial wastage and make recommendations accordingly.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Hon Limpho Tau
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