By Pusetso Sehlabaka

Most Divisional Committee members were intrigued with the Fraud and Corruption including prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and whistle-blower policies when they were disseminated to them during a marathon of policies’ dissemination sessions held countrywide from October 17th to November 25th this year.

According to the Human Resources and Administration Manager Mr. Moeketsi Ntlamelle who was the focal person for the exercise, there was more interaction with the committee members when the three policies were disseminated because they (committee members) said it will help them to manage the divisional affairs more diligently.

He said most committee members did not know about the Society’s policies and that affected the proper running of the affairs at the district level.

“We expect a lot of change and progress in the running of Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) affairs after the workshops…\..\policies\Lesotho RCS Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy.pdf

He also stated that the purpose of fraud and corruption policy is to reduce and prevent any act of fraud and corruption and if it does occur investigations will be conducted.

“There are processes that have to be followed when fraud is suspected to have been committed. There will be appropriate disciplinary hearing and legal action” he added.

In addition, the Legal Assistant of LRCS Advocate Makentsi Thamae informed the participants that in some cases people are reluctant or afraid to report fraud and corruption hence the Whistle Blower policy.

The policy “covers situations where an individual or group of people (whistle-blowers) raise a concern about a risk, malpractice, or wrongdoing that involves and affects the Society and its partners (including donors, partner NGOs, grantees, sub-grantees, business partners, vendors, suppliers, etc.).”

The objective of the Whistle Blower policy is;

  • “To protect from retaliatory actions individuals who submit a report of allegations of wrongdoing.
  • To ensure that Whistleblowers always get responses to the reports they would have given and that they are aware of how to pursue remedies if they are not satisfied with any action taken or non-action thereof;”

He added that people can use a suggestion box placed in all the Society’s offices, use of toll-free number 80040000…\..\policies\Lesotho Red Cross Society Whistle-blower Policy.pdf

On the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (PSAE) policy, Miss Lintle Mathosi said it creates an environment where beneficiaries are safe and respected, and can access the protection and assistance they need without any form of exploitation. She further stated that the Protection, Gender, and Inclusion (PGI) say no to discrimination and exclusion. Its standards are dignity, safety, participation, and access to mention a few.

The Divisional Committees were also informed about the current financial status of the Society. When making a presentation, the Finance Director Mr. Teboho Nkoane said   LRCS has been depending on donor support for the past 5 years (72 % of funds are from donors and 28% of funds are raised internally). At least 60% of resources should be raised internally hence the need for resource mobilization.

When wrapping up the workshop, the president of LRCS Mr. Hareteke Nkhetse said that we should ensure that both the governance and the administrative sides of the Society know about the policies.  “We are contributing towards the development of the new strategy that starts next year, he emphasized the importance of good governance in Society because it leads to a better administration of the society”. He said.

A brief history of the Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was also presented by the Divisional Secretaries of the Divisions. The workshops were officially opened by the Secretary-General.