Mets­ing ac­cuses Tha­bane of in­cit­ing vi­o­lence

Lesotho Times - - Elections 2015 - Le­tuka Chafotsa

for un­til last year’s fall­out be­tween the coali­tion gov­ern­ment lead­ers.

Le­sotho is hold­ing an early elec­tion af­ter the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), LCD and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) gov­ern­ment fell apart late last year due to a bit­ter power-strug­gle be­tween Prime Min­is­ter and ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane and LCD leader and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing.

The coali­tion gov­ern­ment had come to power af­ter the 26 May 2012 gen­eral elec­tion re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Ms Ran­tšo, the first step to­wards restor­ing sta­bil­ity to Le­sotho was vot­ing the RCL to power and en­sur­ing ap­point­ments to po­si­tions such as army com­man­der and po­lice com­mis­sioner are not made by politi­cians but the monarch.

“The po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity ten­sions we have at the mo­ment are TEY­ATEYA­NENG — Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, has ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane of vi­o­lat­ing the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord (MSA) by re­mov­ing Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli from the pay­roll.

Lt Gen Kamoli and Lt Gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF), as well as Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) Com­mis­sioner, Khothatso Tšooana, were sent on forced leave on 21 Novem­ber 2014 in line with the MSA, which, among oth­ers, sought to fa­cil­i­tate the restora­tion of cor­dial work­ing re­la­tions be­tween the army and po­lice.

This meant Lt Gen Kamoli — who had re­fused to step down as LDF com­man­der when he was fired by Dr Tha­bane on 29 Au­gust 2014 for al­leged in­sub­or­di­na­tion, prompt­ing the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity-bro­kered MSA — was sup­posed to con­tinue re­ceiv­ing his salary and benefits dur­ing the leave-of-ab­sence.

How­ever, ad­dress­ing an LCD rally in Tey­ateya­neng on Sun­day, Mr Mets­ing said Dr Tha­bane was tram­pling on the agree­ment “the same way he has been be­hav­ing so dis­hon­estly since we formed the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in 2012”.

“We are here be­cause we formed gov­ern­ment with peo­ple who did not be­lieve in demo­cratic val­ues,” Mr Mets­ing said.

“We fought with the ABC (All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion) and BNP (Ba­sotho Na­tional Party) lead­ers we were in gov­ern­ment with, be­cause they did not want peo­ple’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in gov­er­nance hence they suspended par­lia­ment for nine months in June last year. They did not con­sult us on this is­sue. How­ever, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity lis­tened to us be­cause there is no space for dic­ta­tor­ship in this world any­more.

“We would not al­low them to take us back to the dark days of dic­ta­tor­ship be­fore the Ba­sotho Congress Party (BCP) came to power due to politi­cians who have politi­cised the army and po­lice for their own ben­e­fit.

“Th­ese same peo­ple be­lieve they don’t have to re­spect the con­sti­tu­tion be­cause they have the sup­port of th­ese two in­sti­tu­tions.

“We’ve seen politi­cians and lead­ers in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment re­fus­ing to re­spect de­ci­sions made by the Prime Min­is­ter be­cause they feel they have the sup­port of the army and po­lice, and this is where our prob­lems are com­ing from.

“But un­der an RCL gov­ern­ment, we will not al­low this to hap­pen; the King is go­ing to be mak­ing such key ap­point­ments and ev­ery politi­cian shall be bound by the con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho and no-one would be above the law ,” Ms Ran­tšo said.

“That is why I urge you all, the peo­ple of Mafeteng, and Ba­sotho at large, to vote the RCL to power be­cause we have the in­ter­ests of the na­tion at heart, and we will make in 1993

Mr Mets­ing fur­ther said Dr Tha­bane had brought the coun­try’s rep­u­ta­tion into dis­re­pute through his “poor lead­er­ship” and “con­tin­ued vi­o­la­tion of agree­ments he would have signed”.

“Le­sotho failed to as­sume the chair­man- sure your rights and wishes are re­spected.”

On the other hand, Ms Ran­tšo also said the public ser­vice and Di­rec­torate on Cor­rup­tion and Eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) should be in­de­pen­dent and ad­e­quately re­sourced for ef­fec­tive de­liv­ery of ser­vice.

“Our DCEO is sup­posed to be in­de­pen­dent but is cur­rently de­nied the free­dom to ex­er­cise its author­ity by politi­cians and lack of re­sources.

“This should stop and the only way to do so is through vot­ing the RCL to be the next gov­ern­ment.”

Ms Ran­tšo also said un­em­ploy­ment had be­come a ma­jor chal­lenge for Ba­sotho youths and the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil (NYC) was not pro­vid­ing the an­swers be­cause it re­mains un­der gov­ern­ment con­trol.

“The Na­tional Youth Coun­cil should also be in­de­pen­dent and let our youths make their own plans ship of SADC’S Or­gan on Pol­i­tics, De­fense and Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion last year be­cause of poor gov­er­nance by Tha­bane,” he said.

“SADC saw that this coun­try could no longer be trusted with the lead­er­ship, as Tha­bane was now vi­o­lat­ing demo­cratic val­ues, and not re­spect­ing agree­ments he would

have signed. That is why the SADC de­cided to take the chair­man­ship away and give it to South Africa.”

Mr Mets­ing also ac­cused Dr Tha­bane of fo­ment­ing bad blood be­tween the army and po­lice.

“Tha­bane is re­spon­si­ble for the se­cu­rity cri­sis in this coun­try as he cre­ated this sus­pi­cion be­tween the po­lice and army, which re­sulted in ten­sion be­tween the two agen­cies.

“Right now, he has vi­o­lated the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord by re­mov­ing Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Kamoli from the pay­roll.

“He is do­ing this to make sure there is a vi­o­lent re­ac­tion to it, and that there is no peace in this coun­try. In fact, he wants Ba­sotho to suf­fer so much to the ex­tent that they start eat­ing each other like can­ni­bals.

“There are even ru­mours that he wants to fire me, to fur­ther pro­voke a re­ac­tion. But how can some­one we put in of­fice dis­miss me as deputy prime min­is­ter? Isn’t that a joke of the worst kind? Where does this man get that power?

“We signed the Elec­toral Pledge be­fore His Majesty in De­cem­ber last year, which obliged all par­ties to en­sure free and fair elec­tions, but he con­tin­u­ally dis­re­gards it. Are th­ese not signs of some­one who does not want peace in his own coun­try? Should we al­low this old man to con­tinue caus­ing th­ese prob­lems for us?”

Mr Mets­ing also said Dr Tha­bane should stop his sup­port­ers from call­ing for the re­moval of Mr Ramaphosa as fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho’s re­turn to sta­bil­ity.

Mr Ramaphosa stands ac­cused of “sid­ing” with Mr Mets­ing and the Demo­cratic Congress (DC) in his me­di­a­tion, with some BNP and ABC sup­port­ers now call­ing for his re­moval.

How­ever, Mr Mets­ing said such ac­cu­sa­tions were base­less and that Mr Ramaphosa was do­ing a “great job” in help­ing the coun­try re­turn to sta­bil­ity.

Mean­while, re­peated at­tempts to get the ABC’S side of the story were fruit­less.

LCD leader mo­thetjoa mets­ing

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