By Thoboloko Nts’onyane

MASERU – The government is moving towards the cashless method and has introduced a digital paying system.

It is also eliminating handling of cash on large transactions.

This is according to the circular issued by the Accountant General ‘Maleholoholo Mahase to all government’s ministries.

“The Government of Lesotho has taken an initiative to reduce cash handling for transactions across the economy. This step is meant to mitigate offences of terrorist financing and money laundering. It is also meant to exhibit transparency in all financial transactions from their source to the end,” reads the circular.

She said Chief Accounting Officers should use digital platforms when accepting sums of M30 000.00 and above. The Accountant-General further capped the cash withdrawals limit to M30 000.00.

Mahase pointed out that the cashless economy is achieved through usage of financial products and those products help detect and identify the sources of funds adding that beneficial ownership comes into play.

“When cash is running into the system there will be less money laundering and terrorist financing which are major economic threats globally,” further reads the circular.

She holds that since Lesotho is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) it has the duty to fight against money laundering activities.

The circular continued: “Adopting [a] cashless transactions system means money will circulate in the economy using financial products and its sources will be known and have reduced [the] number of financial crimes, where cash is traceable.”

The Accountant-General heads the Treasury Department within the Ministry of Finance. Section 95 of Treasury Regulations charges the Accountant-General to prepare the consolidated financial statements as per the provisions of the Public Financial Management and Accountability Act, 2011 and in line with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). 

The Accountant General is among others mandated to provide technical guidance on the government’s spending units.