Oct. 31, 2022


2 min read

Missing govt billions might be found – analyst

Missing govt billions might be found – analyst

Local economic analyst, Majakathata Mokuena-Thakhisi

Story highlights

    Mokuena-Thakhisi says the shortfall does not necessarily mean the money was stolen
    Analyst accuses past PSs of incompetence

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TOP economic analyst, Majakathata Mokuena-Thakhisi says it is quite possible for the unexplained shortfall of M6.1 billion from the government cash balance to soon be found.

He was unpacking the newly-elected Prime Minister Sam Matekane’s maiden speech, which he delivered during his inauguration at Setsoto stadium in Maseru on Friday.
The fact that the acting Auditor General, he said, announced the shortfall does not necessarily mean the money was stolen, adding it was just not properly accounted for.

Mokuena-Thakhisi said the money was merely misinterpreted and might be found in the system, adding that there was a need for a proactive audit system in the country.
The amount, he said is a third of the national budget, adding, however, that he did not believe it had been stolen.

“Most of the Principal Secretaries from the previous government were incompetent in their respective jobs,” he said.
He said the plan to cut unnecessary government spending on fleet management and fuel consumption within the first 100 days could work if Basotho stopped their wasteful behaviours.
Such conduct, he said, is often triggered by poverty, highlighting the need for the incoming government to deal with all poverty-related issues.

He raised an issue with the PM’s plan to establish and publish a corruption, theft, and embezzlement amnesty programme in the next 30 days.

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This, he said would be a bad start as people would have a mind to steal knowing they would be forgiven through the programme.
That way, he said, the money acquired would readily be laundered at local banks.

A few months ago, Acting Auditor General, Monica Besetsa announced an unexplained shortfall of M6.157 billion from the government’s cash balance of M11.620 billion as of March 31, 2021, adding it had increased by M2.744 billion from M3.413 billion as of March 2020. - LeNA

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