ABC to launch manifesto
The LCD, All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho National Party (BNP) led by Dr Thabane and Chief ‘Maseribane respectively, formed a coalition government in June 2012. However, the alliance has since disintegrated following complaints by Mr Metsing that the premier was not consulting him when making key decisions with a bearing on good governance. The collapse of the alliance and government necessitated a snap election, which is scheduled for 28 February this year.
However, in the affidavit, Mr Metsing indicated the DCEO was being used by the two leaders, “with the hope of enhancing their political careers”.
The affidavit notes: “Firstly, it is apparent that the first and second respondents (DCEO’S Director General Borotho Matsoso and DCEO) have been conniving with some politicians to vilify me.
“In this regard, a letter written by the Prime Minister (Thomas Thabane) that emerged after the political crisis of August 2014, speaks volumes about this fact.
“In the letter which I annex and mark “RM2”, the Prime Minister alleges that I am involved in corruption.”
Mr Metsing then quoted Dr Thabane as saying: “He is involved in malpractices and abuse of power, leading to huge losses of public funds, possibly for personal gain and this is demonstrated by large amounts of money that are being deposited into his bank account over some time now.”
Mr Metsing further states: “Secondly, the third respondent (Minister of Law and Constitutional Affairs Haae Phoofolo) who is a member of the ABC, made similar allegations at a political rally.
“Although I heard the full speech he made, as it was broadcast on Lesotho Television, I wish to annex herewith and mark “RM3”, a newspaper report of that speech.
“In that speech, the third respondent, Mr Phoofolo ( Law and Constitutional Affairs minister Haae Phoofolo), who is a trained lawyer by profession, is alleging that I am corrupt and that I have opened several accounts wherein I deposited public monies; that the ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) Secretary-general, Samonyane Ntsekele, says the party is set to unveil its poll manifesto at Setsoto Stadium on 1 February.
Mr Ntsekele said the unveiling ceremony will also be the official launch of the ABC’S campaign ahead of next month’s National Assembly election.
Lesotho goes to an early poll on 28 February following last year’s collapse of the ABC, Basotho National Party (BNP) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy ( LCD) alliance, which resulted in the formation of the country’s first coalition government in June 2012.
According to Mr Ntsekele, ABC leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, will also use the star-rally to further explain why the coalition government could not last its five-year term, as well as his crusade against corruption and extreme poverty.
A bitter power-struggle between Dr Thabane and LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing prompted the intervention of various stakeholders, but the conduct of the respondents in accessing my accounts is not unconstitutional; that as an expert in the field (of law) he knows that I have no case.”
Mr Metsing also considers the said statements significant to his case, arguing in the affidavit that Advocate Phoofolo “is designated as a minister for purposes of the administration of the DCEO Act 1999 as amended”.
He continues: “Secondly, in terms of Section 52 of the DCEO Act, the second respondent (DCEO) is obliged to report to this particular minister.
“It is inconceivable, therefore, that the first and second respondents did not brief the said minister on these issues.”
But Mr Metsing also says there are inconsistencies in the accusations made against him by the DCEO and his coalition partners, which he insists point to a plot to destroy his political career.
He notes: “Notably, the allegation that is common in respect of both the prime minister and third respondent (Advocate Phoofolo), contrary to what the first respondent (DCEO Director General) avers, is that the monies deposited into my accounts are public funds, whereas the case of the first and second respondents is that it is money possibly from Big Bravo (Pty) Ltd.”
Big Bravo Construction is the company that was engaged for the upgrading of Matala Phase One and Matala-to-ha Leqele Bus Stop roads last year.
The company is alleged to have won the M120 million tender due to Mr Metsing’s influence and was, therefore, allegedly depositing money into the deputy premier’s accounts in gratitude.
Mr Metsing continues in his affidavit: “To demonstrate that the so-called investigations are but a sham, the leader of the BNP, who is also the Minister of Youth and Gender Affairs, has publicly stated that I am corrupt; and that I have tried to overthrow the government in order to avoid prosecution for corruption.”
He further argued Police Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana also made similar statements, hence his belief that the DCEO probe was only meant to victimise him.
According to the affidavit, the DCEO’S investigations started when the coalition government started to break down early last year.
“The timing of the so-called investigations of my accounts for alleged corruption, indeed coincided with the total fallout between the coalition partners in the government of Lesotho led by the Prime Minister.
“When in September 2013, I stopped him from taking over a ministry allocated to my party, he (Dr Thabane) started making allegations that members of my party were corrupt.
“It was in February 2014, from the papers disclosed now in this application, that the socalled investigations commenced, and a unilateral prorogation of Parliament followed in March 2014,” he charged. feuding parties could not resolve their differences, hence next month’s snap election.
Mr Ntsekele told the Lesotho Times this week: “Our main message to the people is that they should vote for the ABC because it is a party determined to end hunger, extreme poverty, corruption and the theft of public funds.
The launch of our election manifesto will also be a platform for the party to further explain why we find ourselves in this situation as a nation.”
However, Mr Ntsekele added the manifesto would be almost similar to that of the 2012 poll.
“We realised that we had a very good manifesto for the 2012 elections, and were only in government for twoand-a-half years, instead of the full five-year term. So we had not done most of the things we had intended to do as outlined in our manifesto, which is why we will still be using the same election strategy,” he said.
“Our party has shown the country that it is committed to fighting corruption, hence its election campaign message will be highlighting this.”
The ABC won 26 of the 80 contested constituencies in the 26 May 2012 poll, while the Democratic Congress took 41, and the LCD and Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) had 12 and one respectively.
THIS South African Police Service vehicle overturned in Kolonyama on Sunday. There were, however, no reported injuries.
Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing
ABC Secretary-general Samonyane Ntsekele