Kamoli is legitimate army boss - Metsing
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Africa for his special leave in Uganda, arguing he would only do so if his salary — which the outgoing government had withdrawn — is reinstated.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”.