Maseru – The Independent Electoral Commission IEC cries foul over 54 Million Maloti allocated for Local Government Polls which has since been taken by the Ministry of Finance to pay bills for short term hire with Bidvest Bank Limited.
Addressing the media in Maseru, IEC Commissioner Advocate ‘Mamosebi Pholo said the Commission received a letter from the Finance Principal Secretary informing them that the Minister of Finance Dr. ‘Mamphono Khaketla has authorised the Controller to withdraw the sum of 54 Million Maloti from allocated funds for the Local Government elections.
Advocate Pholo added that the letter advised to include this expense in the 2017/2018 budget proposal, saying the decision was taken without any discussions with the IEC, and was taken after the Commission was requested to submit Cash Flow Projections for the Local Government Elections 2016.
She said in the spirit of consultation, transparency, inclusiveness and engagement with electoral stakeholders, the IEC had a briefing session with political party leaders to make them aware of these developments, adding that in accordance with the agreement of the June 20th between the Government, Political Party Leaders and the IEC, they are going to continue preparing for the Local Government elections scheduled for between February and March 2017.
Local Government elections were supposed to have been held in October this year but they were postponed as they clashed with the country’s 50th Golden Jubilee.
Also present at the media briefing were among others IEC Commissioner Dr. Makase Nyaphisi and Director of Elections Dr. Letholetseng Ntsiki.