EU Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from the European Commission. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Can you give us an overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Lesotho, with a special focus on water and energy?

Content

1. Overview of corruption in Lesotho

2. Nature of corruption challenges

3. Corruption in the water and energy sector

4. Legal and institutional anti-corruption framework

5. References

Summary

Since the return of multi-party democracy to Lesotho in 1993, successive governments have shown a sustained commitment to combat corruption and extend participatory rights to citizens. The successful trial of several senior public officials and various multinational companies for their alleged involvement in bribery and embezzlement related to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project proved to be an important milestone in the country’s fight against corruption.

Despite this legal victory, petty and grand corruption is still commonplace in the public service. Anti-corruption institutions lack the capacity to address corruption in the country, anti-corruption policies and accountability mechanisms are generally weak, and access to information is not a reality to citizens outside of the government. Scandals including ministers and public contracts have arisen in the past years and have shaken trust in the public sector.

Lesotho has attempted to address corruption through several laws over the past decade, including a 2006 amendment to the national anti-corruption law which requires public officials to disclose their assets. Currently, the government has received additional funding to pursue a public sector improvement and reform programme (PRISP) which aims at professionalising public administration and increasing the capacity of the civil service in the country

Authors

Iñaki Albisu Ardigó, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

20/10/2014

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