Mo­choboroane threat­ens to beat up Mo­lapo

. . . as fired min­is­ter Mo­choboroane ‘locks him­self in­side’ of­fice

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

ACT­ING Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Science and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Joang Mo­lapo has sen­sa­tion­ally claimed he was de­nied en­try to his of­fice af­ter it was bar­ri­caded by Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) of­fi­cers al­legedly at the in­sti­ga­tion of fired min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane, who had “locked him­self in”.

Chief Mo­lapo, who is also Home Af­fairs min­is­ter, re­cently took over the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Science and Tech­nol­ogy port­fo­lio from Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Min­is­ter ‘Mak­a­belo Mosothoane fol­low­ing the fir­ing of Mr Mo­choboroane by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane on 16 Oc­to­ber 2014 for al­leged in­sub­or­di­na­tion.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Chief Mo­lapo, he re­turned from a lunch break to find the min­istry of­fice bar­ri­caded by LDF of­fi­cers os­ten­si­bly at the be­hest of Mr Mo­choboroane who has re­fused to va­cate the post af­ter ques­tion­ing the le­git­i­macy of his dis­missal.

“I had some ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties to carry out at the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fices on Mon­day,” Chief Mo­lapo said in an in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times.

“I worked from the min­is­ter’s of­fice since eight o’clock in the morn­ing till lunch time. I went out for lunch and, upon my re­turn, was sur­prised to see armed LDF of­fi­cers with bul­let­proof vests sur­round­ing the door to the of­fice.

“I tried to pass through them be­cause I didn’t know what was hap­pen­ing and found the door locked. The LDF of­fi­cers told me that Mr Mo­choboroane was in his of­fice and that I was not al­lowed in.”

Chief Mo­lapo said he im­me­di­ately con­tacted the Act­ing LDF com­man­der, Ma­jor Gen­eral Khoan­tle Motšo­motšo, and in­formed him that his of­fi­cers were deny­ing him ac­cess to the of­fice he had been ap­pointed to oc­cupy on 15 Jan­uary 2015.

“Ma­jor Gen­eral Motšo­motšo asked me to leave the place and as­sured me that he would give me the keys to the of­fice af­ter prop­erly se­cur­ing the place,” he said.

“Up un­til to­day, he has not called me con­cern­ing the of­fice keys but I am still wait­ing.”

Asked on whether Ms Mosothoane re­lin­quished the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Science and Tech­nol­ogy port­fo­lio be­cause she was scared of Mr Mo­choboroane as al­leged in me­dia re- of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Science and Tech­nol­ogy un­til his court case is fi­nalised “or af­ter the up­com­ing 28 Fe­bru­ary Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions”.

“That rub­bish (Chief Joang) is a liar and talks s**t when he says I locked my­self in my of­fice,” Mr Mo­choboroane said.

“I was in­formed at around 10 o’clock that Mr Mo­lapo was in my of­fice and 30 min­utes later when I ar­rived he was no longer there. I wanted to con­front him for get­ting into my of­fice with­out my per­mis­sion.

“When Mr Mo­lapo came back to the of­fice, he found me in a meet­ing with the au­thor­i­ties in the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­istry, and when I heard that he was out­side, I told him to get in but he re­fused say­ing he only wanted his i-pad.

“I re­ally wanted him to get into the meet­ing be­cause I wanted to break his head. That is why I re­quested for the meet­ing to be ad­journed when I heard he was in the premises. He can’t just get into my of­fice with­out my autho­ri­sa­tion.”

Mr Mo­choboroane said he was still Com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter “un­til my court case is fi­nalised and I will hand over gov­ern­ment prop­erty which is with me just af­ter elec­tions be­fore the swear­ing-in of new cabi­net min­is­ters”.

The LCD deputy spokesper­son de­clared that Mon­day this week was Chief Mo­lapo’s “last day” of en­ter­ing the of­fice with­out his per­mis­sion “un­til af­ter elec­tions when a new gov­ern­ment takes over”.

Last Novem­ber, the pre­mier filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the High Court seek­ing an or­der to com­pel Mr Mo­choboroane to va­cate the post. In the ap­pli­ca­tion, Dr Tha­bane wants Mr Mo­choboroane to va­cate gov­ern­ment’s Maseru West res­i­dence, and hand over state prop­erty in his pos­ses­sion, which in­cludes ve­hi­cles and a cell-phone.

How­ever, High Court judge, Jus­tice Teboho Moiloa, dis­missed Dr Tha­bane’s claim that the mat­ter should be treated as ur­gent on the grounds that it was brought to court al­most a month af­ter Mr Mo­choboroane had de­fied the ex­pul­sion and post­poned the case to March 2015.

ACT­ING Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Joang Mo­lapo

Fired Com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane.

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