Kamoli is le­git­i­mate army boss - Mets­ing

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

LIEU­TENANT Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli will re­turn to Le­sotho from his leave of ab­sence in South Africa and re­sume his com­mand of the Le­sotho De­fence Force, Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing has de­clared.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence to an­nounce the for­ma­tion of a new gov­ern­ment led by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili yes­ter­day, Mr Mets­ing said Lt Gen Kamoli re­mained at the helm of the LDF de­spite be­ing fired by out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane on 29 Au­gust 2014.

Dr Tha­bane had cited Lt Gen Kamoli’s al­leged in­sub­or­di­na­tion as the rea­son for the dis­missal with the lat­ter res­o­lutely re­fus­ing to va­cate the post, ar­gu­ing the fir­ing was un­law­ful.

The out­go­ing pre­mier went on to ap­point Lt Gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao as Lt Gen Kamoli’s re­place­ment, although the duo, as well as Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner, Khothatso Tšooana, were sent to Uganda, South Su­dan and Al­ge­ria re­spec­tively on spe­cial leave in line with the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord (MSA).

The MSA was part of South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) ef­forts to nor­malise re­la­tions be­tween the army and po­lice fol­low­ing a pro­tracted turf war which had brought in­sta­bil­ity to the king­dom, and also sought to en­sure the 28 Fe­bru­ary snap elec­tions were held un­der a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment.

How­ever, Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli re­fused to leave South Africa for his spe­cial leave in Uganda, ar­gu­ing he would only do so if his salary — which the out­go­ing gov­ern­ment had with­drawn — is re­in­stated.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mets­ing, who is also deputy pre­mier, only Lt Gen Kamoli and Com­mis­sioner Tšooana would re­sume their du­ties in the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment.

Mr Mets­ing also re­as­sured Direc­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) Leaba Thet­sane and At­tor­ney-gen­eral Tšokolo Makhete that they would re­tain their posts fol­low­ing Dr Tha­bane’s vow in last week’s edi­tion of the Le­sotho Times to re­lieve them of their du­ties if re­turned to of­fice as prime min­is­ter.

“The for­tu­nate thing is that we al­ready knew who would chase the AG and DPP out of of­fice if he re­turned to power,” said Mr Mets­ing, in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the out­go­ing pre­mier.

“They (AG and DPP) can be rest as­sured that we won’t in­ter­fere with their of­fices and will pro­tect their in­de­pen­dence.”

Mr Mets­ing, who is set to re­tain his po­si­tion in the new gov­ern­ment as deputy prime min­is­ter, said he had ev­i­dence Ad­vo­cates Makhethe and Thet­sane would have been re­placed with “pup­pets who would be told who to in­ves­ti­gate and drag be­fore courts” if Dr Tha­bane had man­aged to have his way.

He added that all ap­point­ments made by Dr Tha­bane fol­low­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment on 5 De­cem­ber last year, and the sign­ing of the Elec­toral Pledge, would be “ad­dressed in­di­vid­u­ally with each case as­sessed and judged on its own mer­its”.

This was in ref­er­ence to the con­tro­ver­sial ap­point­ments by Dr Tha­bane of the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary for Cabi­net Ad­min­is­tra­tion Motha­bathe Hlalele, Act­ing Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Holomo Moli­beli and Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent Kananelo Mos­ito.

Mr Mets­ing also said un­like the out­go­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment “where min­istries were la­belled by po­lit­i­cal par­ties”, the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment would en­sure that its min­istries work in tan­dem.

He said the seven par­ties which make up the in­com­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment will merge their man­i­festos to form the man­date of the Dr Mo­sisili-led ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“We are go­ing to set a stan­dard for the op­er­a­tions of fu­ture coali­tion gov­ern­ments,” said Mr Mets­ing, adding that Ba­sotho should be rest as­sured that the seven par­ties will “make col­lec­tive de­ci­sion on all is­sues”.

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