Maseru - The Constitutional Court has ruled that the minister of finance has the option to authorise the use of public funds beyond the end of the financial year in a case in which Machesetsa Mofomobe and Mohato Seleke asked the court to stop government from spending public funds beyond the end of the financial year ending March 31. They had reasoned that the 2017/18 budget had not been passed in parliament.
Machesetsa is spokesperson for Basotho National Party.
The court found that the minister could authorize withdrawal of funds from the consolidated funds on the basis of 2016/2017 budget estimates to a maximum of one third.
Machesetsa had sought the court's intervention in the wake of the collapse of the Pakalitha Mosisili's coalition government after it lost a no-confidence vote with fear that the government would use the money with no accountability.
Sitting with five other judges, presiding Judge Teboho Moiloa explained that judgment is just a summary of the rational behind the decision the court made and that the full judgment with detailed reasons would be delivered as soonest.
Had Machesetsa's court bid succeeded, it would have meant a government shutdown.