ABC to launch man­i­festo

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

ves­ti­ga­tion.

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

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