Metsing accuses Thabane of inciting violence
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