Mets­ing re­grets choice of min­istries

LCD leader says it was a 'big mis­take' not to de­mand se­cu­rity and ju­di­cial min­istries when his party joined the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in 2012

Lesotho Times - - News - Le­tuka Chafotsa

Deputy prime Min­is­ter and Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, has lamented the coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to award se­cu­rity and ju­di­cial min­istries to the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC).

prime Min­is­ter thomas tha­bane’s ABC took min­istries of Law, Hu­man Rights and Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs, as well as De­fence, po­lice and Na­tional Se­cu­rity when it formed gov­ern­ment with the LCD and Ba­sotho Na­tional party (BNP) in June 2012.

How­ever, Mr Mets­ing on Sun­day in­sisted it was a “big mis­take” to put th­ese min­istries un­der the ABC con­trol as they were “abused” by the pre­mier, lead­ing to the col­lapse of the gov­ern­ment half­way through its five-year term.

Mr Mets­ing, who was ad­dress­ing thou­sands of LCD sup­port­ers at the party’s last cam­paign rally in Lepereng be­fore the 28 Fe­bru­ary gen­eral elec­tions, said Ba­sotho find them­selves go­ing for an early vote due to the ABC leader “who doesn’t like peace and unity among our peo­ple, both which had been made pos­si­ble by the coali­tion gov­ern­ment”.

He con­tin­ued: “We failed to last the ex­pected five years in of­fice be­cause tha­bane was never in­ter­ested in peace among our peo­ple in the first place. “ba­sotho should not vote for such a per­son again, and I even ap­peal to ABC mem­bers who want sta­bil­ity in this coun­try not to vote for this man.

“How can any­one vote for some­body who has brought such con­fu­sion and dishar­mony to our na­tion?” ac­cord­ing to Mr Mets­ing the coali­tion part­ners should have shared the se­cu­rity and legal min­istries equally and not put them un­der a sin­gle party.

“that was our big­gest mis­take — al­low­ing such key min­istries to be un­der the ABC when we were shar­ing the de­part­ments at the for­ma­tion of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in 2012. Look how he has been abus- ing them to set­tle per­sonal scores!

“This man has been in­flu­enc­ing the po­lice, the DCEO (Di­rec­torate on Cor­rup­tion and eco­nomic Of­fenses) and ju­di­ciary, to per­se­cute his enemies.“i don’t think any­one wants in­sta­bil­ity in our coun­try, in­clud­ing ABC sup­port­ers, which is why I am urg­ing the na­tion not to vote him to power come elec­tionday. He does not like democ­racy; he does not want peace and he hates to see Ba­sotho be­ing united and happy. In short, he does not de­serve your vote.

“Ba­sotho had thought the coali­tion gov­ern­ment would be the cor­ner­stone for peace-build­ing and unity in this coun­try, but tha­bane de­stroyed those hopes by desta­bil­is­ing th­ese crit­i­cal or­gans of the state. This made it dif­fi­cult for the coali­tion gov­ern­ment to func­tion, hence th­ese early elec­tions.” mr Mets­ing fur­ther ac­cused the pre­mier of “pro­mot­ing vi­o­lence” among com­mu­ni­ties, when all the peo­ple wanted was to live in peace and for­get about pol­i­tics.

“From the day we formed the coali­tion gov­ern­ment with tha­bane, the LCD was al­ways work­ing to unite Ba­sotho be­cause we are one peo­ple.

But he was not happy about this be­cause, sud­denly, he started talk­ing about dis­miss­ing civil ser­vants who did not be­long to the three par­ties in gov­ern­ment, and went for prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries he said be­longed to the main op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Congress (DC).

even though we ad­vised him not to purge in­no­cent Ba­sotho, tha­bane still went ahead and fired them and many other public ser­vants he ac- cused of be­long­ing to the DC.

“yet DC mem­bers are Ba­sotho; they are our broth­ers and sis­ters so why fire them sim­ply be­cause they don’t be­long to your party? Is that not pro­mot­ing vi­o­lence among the peo­ple? Why abuse power that way?”

Mr Mets­ing then told the rally how an Lcd-led gov­ern­ment would unite all Ba­sotho and en­sure good gov­er­nance through non-in­ter­fer­ence in state in­sti­tu­tions such as the Le­sotho De­fence Force and Le­sotho Mounted po­lice Ser­vice.

the LCD leader then turned his guns on BNP deputy leader Joang Mo­lapo, ac­cus­ing the Home Af­fairs min­is­ter of be­ing “very cor­rupt to­gether with tha­bane.” he con­tin­ued the on­slaught: “tha­bane and his cronies have cre­ated many com­pa­nies, which are cor­ruptly ben­e­fit- ting from gov­ern­ment ten­ders.

“I don’t even own a sin­gle com­pany, but the prime min­is­ter has around 20, and the ques­tion is why. Be­cause he is the one who is cor­rupt, he ac­cuses every­body else of be­ing cor­rupt and uses min­istries un­der his con­trol to per­se­cute in­no­cent peo­ple.

“If you check my bank ac­counts, and tha­bane’s, you will re­alise who is re­ally cor­rupt. “the same goes with this per­son I come from the same dis­trict with. His com­pany has ben­e­fit­ted from Home Af­fairs of which he is the min­is­ter, and that com­pany is called ‘Nala Cap­i­tal Ser­vices’.

“Nala ben­e­fited from the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs by de­liv­er­ing ser­vices dur­ing a mu­sic fes­ti­val held in hon­our of the King’s birth­day last year and there was con­flict of in­ter­est here, which amounted to cor­rup­tion.”

How­ever, con­tacted for com­ment on tues­day, Chief Mo­lapo said he had noth­ing to hide re­gard­ing the fes­ti­val.“our com­pany did not bid for any job in the min­istry but rather, a firm that was awarded the ten­der ap­proached us for funds so it could de­liver the re­quired ser­vices.

“I even re­ported the re­quest for fund­ing to cabi­net and the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, and ex­plained that I al­ready had that com­pany be­fore I be­came min­is­ter (in 2012).

“I wanted to find out if there could be any con­flict of in­ter­est in the fund­ing and no one in cabi­net said there was so we con­tin­ued help­ing that com­pany,” Chief Mo­lapo said.

“un­like Mets­ing, I work openly and trans­par­ently; I made full dis­clo­sure of the com­pany in ques­tion and cabi­net gave me the go ahead.

“We signed an agree­ment with the com­pany in ques­tion that the re­fund would be com­ing straight from gov­ern­ment to avoid any prob­lems.”

Dr tha­bane was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment on Mr Mets­ing’s ac­cu­sa­tions, but his press sec­re­tary, thabo thakalekoala, dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions as “base­less”.

“Mr Mets­ing should fo­cus on his elec­tion-cam­paign and stop dis­turb­ing this na­tion’s peace. He should get his facts rights be­fore mak­ing such base­less ac­cu­sa­tions.

“the prime min­is­ter has no such com­pa­nies; this is Mr Mets­ing’s last kicks as a politi­cian be­cause he will be­come ir­rel­e­vant af­ter the elec­tions,” Mr thakalekoala said.

Deputy prime Min­is­ter and LCD leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing

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