ABC-BNP al­liance be­hind govt’s col­lapse - Mets­ing

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter and Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, has ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane and Sports Min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘ Maserib­ane of wreak­ing havoc in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment and vi­o­lat­ing var­i­ous peace ac­cords, par­tic­u­larly the Elec­toral Pledge (EP).

Ad­dress­ing hun­dreds of party sup­port­ers at a star rally at Lepereng grounds in Maseru, where he also launched the LCD’S man­i­festo, Mr Mets­ing ac­cused All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion ( ABC) leader, Dr Tha­bane, and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) leader, Chief ‘Maserib­ane, of “act­ing like op­po­si­tion party lead­ers who fought against their own gov­ern­ment and breached the Elec­toral Pledge.”

Signed on 11 De­cem­ber, 2014 by po­lit­i­cal par­ties fol­low­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment in line with the Maseru Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Dec­la­ra­tion (MFD), the EP com­mits the par­ties to en­sure a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for the gen­eral elec­tions sched­uled for 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015.

The MFD was bro­kered by South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) fa­cil­i­ta­tor, South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, and signed on 2 Oc­to­ber 2014.

Mr Mets­ing said the ABC and the BNP were “hell-bent” on caus­ing chaos dur­ing the course of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment, lead­ing to its col­lapse.

The ABC, LCD and BNP formed a coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter the 26 May 2012 elec­tion had failed to pro­duce an out­right ma­jor­ity win­ner, but the al­liance has since col­lapsed with Mr Mets­ing ac­cus­ing Dr Tha­bane of dic­ta­to­rial ten­den­cies.

At the rally, Mr Mets­ing also said his es­tranged part­ners in gov­ern­ment “had al­ways been dis­loyal to the gov­ern­ment” and acted like op­po­si­tion lead­ers ers who disregarded agree­ments with im­punity.

He said Dr Tha­bane­ha­bane and Chief ‘Maserib­ane had ad con­tin­ued to flout SADC bro­kered­kered agree­ments meant to bring Le­sotho to po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sta­bil­itya­bil­ity by gang­ing up against the LCD.

As a re­sult, Mr Mets­ing said, the LCDCD had found so­lace among other congress par­ties led by the main op­po­si­si­tion Demo­crat­i­catic Congress.

Mr Mets­ing ng said Dr Tha­banene had vi­o­lated the Elec­toral Pledgege by hir­ing prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries.

He said if elected, the LCD would not pro­tect any high rank­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial who was hired in con­tra­ven­tion of the agree­ments signed ahead of the elec­tions.

“We have agree­ments signed that we would not be hir­ing any­one or de­mot­ing or re­mov­ing from of­fice any of­fi­cials, but we are shocked to learn that our part­ners are just con­tin­u­ing to con­tra­vene the pledge we made,” said Mr Mets­ing.

“We specif­i­cally agreed that they would not be hir­ing princi- pal sec­re­taries but they are go­ing ahead any­way. Agree­ments should be abided by.

“We will not stop the new gov­ern­ment from fir­ing of­fi­cials who as­cended to of­fice in breach of the Elec­toral Pledge. We are sup­posed to be pro­tect­ing and sup­port­ing agree­ments signed.”

Mr Mets­ing added that af­ter the elec­tions, the LCD would def­i­nitely form a gov­ern­ment with the first or­der of busi­ness be­ing the dis­missal “of those pr prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries hired in vi­ola vi­o­la­tion of the agree­ments.”

He also ac­cused Dr T Tha­bane and Chief ‘Maserib­ane of v vi­o­lat­ing the elec­toral pledge by issu is­su­ing min­ing li­cences.

“We have also learne learned there are min­ing li­cences that a are be­ing is­sued at this time when we are just but a care­taker gover gov­ern­ment,” he said. “We won’t re­gard as bind­ing any agree­ments en­tered into dur­ing this pe­riod since t they are ill­con­ceived. We will nul­lify such agree­ments.”agreeme He said when the LCD ass as­sumes power af­ter theth polls, the party w would ex­am­ine all the agree­ments en­tered into by gov­ern­ment af­ter the dis­solu dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia par­lia­ment and as­sess their mer­its. The deputy pre­mier also con­demned the is­suance of food parcels by the Spe­cial Projects depart­ment in Dr Tha­bane’s of­fice, adding that it was akin to vote buy­ing.

The depart­ment, headed by the pre­mier’s wife, Li­a­biloe ‘Mai­sa­iah Tha­bane, was re­cently or­dered by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to stop dis­tribut­ing gifts to vil­lagers around the coun­try ahead of the elec­tions.

How­ever, Dr Tha­bane has since vowed to con­tinue dis­burs­ing the food items, ar­gu­ing the depart­ment was help­ing needy com­mu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mets­ing, the is­sue of food parcels was not straight for­ward as many Ba­sotho still suf­fer due to hunger and needed food aid.

He, how­ever, urged the re­cip­i­ents not to be swayed by food parcels but to vote for the party of their choice.

Re­spond­ing to Mr Mets­ing’s al­le­ga­tions, Dr Tha­bane’s Press Sec­re­tary, Thabo Thakalekoala said the deputy pre­mier should know that the Elec­toral Pledge does not su­per­sede the con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho.

“The con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho if above the elec­toral pledge, which is just an in­stru­ment meant to fa­cil­i­tate a smooth run­ning of the elec­tions to avoid squab­bles,” said Mr Thakalekoala.

He said the pro­mo­tion or de­mo­tion of se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials would con­tinue to take place, ei­ther ef­fected by the prime min­is­ter or by min­is­ters, in line with the laws and con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho.

LCD leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing

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