WITH the country’s expenditure on the rise, coupled with the ever-declining exports and remittances in recent years, Lesotho’s economic conditions remain on a downward trajectory, threatened further by the government’s poor management of spending.
Feb. 14, 2023
2 min read
Govt hunts down ghost workers
The Minister of Health, Selibe Mochoboroane
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Among others, payment of ghost workers in different ministries exacerbates the situation, further weakening the public purse.
In a bid to redress the unrelentingly poor spending, the government has made a resolution to suspend the payment of salaries for the entire Ministry of Health as the ministry is failing to identify and terminate payment of ghost workers.
A total of 514 ghost workers have been identified in the Ministry but the latter has failed to bring the matter under control.
“Following the 30th January meeting, you will recall that it was agreed that you would submit to MPS authority to terminate the payment of the ghost workers in your ministry. However, to date, your ministry has not honoured the agreement.
“Kindly be advised that the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Employment has made a resolution to suspend the payment of salaries for the entire Ministry of Health as we cannot identify who among the staff are ghost employees,” the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Employment said in a savingram this week.
The country’s public expenditure has continued to increase, with the decline in SACU transfers weakening the external position. Recent cases have highlighted gaps in public financial management and efforts to restrain expenditure have been undermined by growing domestic arrears, as spending pressures mount.
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According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), exports and remittances fell by 26 and 12 percent while the goods and services trade deficit widened by 8 percentage points of GDP in the financial year 2021. The drop in SACU transfers widened the current account further.
The country is seeking to ensure growth-friendly fiscal consolidation to reduce imbalances, rein in public debt and rebuild policy space. There is a need to contain current spending, including the public sector wage bill, reprioritise social spending to focus on the most vulnerable, and rationalise capital spending.