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Ministry of Lands and Housing
PERMANENT SECRETARIES TAKEN TO TASK OVER NEGOTIATIONS WITH S...
01/07/13
The Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH) wishes to respond to an article titled ‘PERMANENT SECRETARIES TAKEN TO TASK OVER NEGOTIATIONS WITH SUSPECT’, published in the Sunday Standard Newspaper June 2-8, 2013. The allegations raised in the article are not only false and unfounded, but also malicious in intent.

The Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH) wishes to respond to an article titled ‘PERMANENT SECRETARIES TAKEN TO TASK OVER NEGOTIATIONS WITH SUSPECT’, published in the Sunday Standard Newspaper June 2-8, 2013. The allegations raised in the article are not only false and unfounded, but also malicious in intent.

This Ministry denies the allegation that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Housing was ever summoned to appear before the Public Accounts Committee. The truth of the matter is that the PS appeared before PAC on the general management of the ministry and the issue referred to arose. It was at the said meeting that PAC informed the PS that he will be summoned together with PS, Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security to brief the committee on the said matter. It is therefore incorrect and misrepresentation of facts to say that warnings were issued against the PS on an alleged hearing that is yet to take place.

The article also paints a picture that suggests that the ‘land magnate’ was given an opportunity to discuss the lease agreement with MLH ‘during the night’ while at the same time ‘they (MLH) claimed to be fighting with him in court’. One can simply deduce from the picture given above that the author simply seeks to tarnish the image of MLH as we do not transact at night. It implies some hypocrisy on the part of MLH and we do take exception to such implications as we are confident of our transparency

We further unequivocally express our serious concern at the misrepresentation of the MLH Permanent Secretary (PS), Mr. Thato Raphaka where the author quotes him as saying, “He was pressurised by Jamali to sign a lease agreement since the ministry had started partitioning the building”. This statement is factually incorrect as the PS never uttered such statements. We therefore reject the author’s view above as false and malicious.

We are more disappointed with the article given that no opinion was sought from the Ministry (MLH) regarding the matter.

This article exhibits an imbalanced reporting approach and is written with a deliberate intent to misinform the public and put the image of the Ministry of Lands and Housing and the Permanent Secretary in disrepute.

Finally the Ministry wishes to confirm that the delivery on our mandate has always been professional and transparent.

We therefore, demand an unconditional retraction of the article by the newspaper and that it is given the same prominence as that of the article in question.

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