Scott’s mother de­nied pass­port

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

DEMO­CRATIC Congress (DC) deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki, has dis­missed al­le­ga­tions that he in­tends to quit the newly-formed coali­tion of seven po­lit­i­cal par­ties and join the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) in protest over Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing’s po­si­tion in the gov­ern­ing al­liance.

The DC, LCD, Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP), Ba­sotho Congress Party (BCP), Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (NIP), Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) and Popular Front for Democ­racy (PFD) an­nounced their coali­tion last week and elected DC leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili as prime min­is­ter and Mr Mets­ing his deputy.

How­ever, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) deputy leader, Joang Mo­lapo last week­end claimed that six DC Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS) had ap­proached the ABC, BNP and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (RCL) al­liance, “ex­press­ing their in­ter­est to join us and de­fect from the re­cently-formed coali­tion of seven par­ties”.

Chief Mo­lapo said the MPS were “al­ready fed-up” with the “squab­bles” within the coali­tion over the al­lo­ca­tion of gov­ern­ment posts, and also al­leged the leg­is­la­tors had ex­pected Mr Moleleki to be deputy pre­mier. Ac­cord­ing to Chief Mo­lapo, the dis­grun­tled MPS were ar­gu­ing Mr Mets­ing was bring­ing noth­ing but trou­ble to the al­liance.

Mr Moleleki, Chief Mo­lapo sen­sa­tion­ally claimed, had queried why Mr Mets­ing, whose LCD clinched 56 467 votes, could be ac­corded the deputy premier­ship yet the DC had amassed 218 573 votes in last month’s snap elec­tion, which ousted the BNP, ABC and LCD coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

In an in­ter­view on Tues­day this week, Mr Moleleki laughed at Chief Mo­lapo’s “very fer­tile imag­i­na­tion”.

“Such claims can only be made by a very thick per­son with fer­tile imag­i­na­tion,” said Mr Moleleki soon af­ter the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony of mem­bers of the 9th Na­tional As­sem­bly. It’s the wish­ful think­ing of peo­ple who can­not ac­cept that they failed to form gov­ern­ment. I should add that the al­le­ga­tions are lu­di­crous as I would never join the ABC un­der any cir­cum­stances.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Moleleki, the DC and LCD agree­ment to form gov­ern­ment was ini­ti­ated be­fore the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 elec­tions were even pro­claimed by King Let­sie III.

“You should re­mem­ber that when we were pre­par­ing to pass a vote-of-no-con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment led by out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane, our coali­tion with the LCD was ended abruptly at the rec­om­men­da­tion of Namib­ian Pres­i­dent Hi­fikepunye Po­hamba in his ca­pac­ity as SADC (South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity) troika chair­per­son,” said Mr Moleleki.

The DC-LCD coali­tion pact, which was signed on 11 June 2014, was still­born as Dr Tha­bane had pro­rogued par­lia­ment for nine months the pre­vi­ous day. And as part of SADC’S ef­forts to bring an end to the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis that en­sued, the re­gional bloc fa­cil­i­tated the Wind­hoek Dec­la­ra­tion, signed in Namibia on 30 July 2014, which among other things, com­pelled the LCD to ter­mi­nate the agree­ment so that Dr Tha­bane could re­open par­lia­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Moleleki, when he initi- ated ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the two par­ties in March last year, the LCD con­tin­gent con­sisted of Mpho Malie, Tha­bang Pheko and Se­libe Mo­choboroane while the DC was rep­re­sented by Retšelisit­soe Masenyetse, Mathi­beli Mokhothu and Tlo­hang Sekhamane.

“So af­ter be­ing in­volved in this al­liance from the be­gin­ning, there is no way that I can turn around now and aban­don it for the ABC. Mo­lapo must have a fer­tile imag­i­na­tion to even sug­gest that I ap­proached them with the in­ten­tion to de­fect.”

On his part, Mr Sekhamane said the DCLCD coali­tion pact was Mr Moleleki’s brain­child, and also dis­missed Chief Mo­lapo’s claims of mass de­fec­tions by DC leg­is­la­tors.

“He (Moleleki) was the one who spear­head- ed the coali­tion agree­ment and it was de­cided from the on­set that the DC would take the prime min­is­ter po­si­tion, while the LCD leader would be the deputy prime min­is­ter,” said Mr Sekhamane.

“It would then be out­ra­geous for any­one to say Ntate Moleleki was ag­grieved by some­thing he ini­ti­ated.”

Mr Moleleki also said those “ped­dling lies” should know that un­like the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion, the in­com­ing seven-party coali­tion gov­ern­ment would not in­ter­fere in the op­er­a­tions of the of­fice of the Direc­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP).

The DC deputy leader also ac­cused the out­go­ing Dr Tha­bane-led gov­ern­ment of abus­ing state in­stru­ments in a bid to pros­e­cute him “at all costs on trumped up cor­rup­tion charges”.

“Th­ese peo­ple who I am al­leged to be de­fect­ing to (ABC) even head-hunted a pros­e­cu­tor by the name of Ad­vo­cate Sipho Md­luli to pros­e­cute me,” Mr Moleleki said.

“We will not have a gov­ern­ment that med­dles in the af­fairs of the DPP’S of­fice, but an in­de­pen­dent pros­e­cu­tor who will de­cide the fate of the crim­i­nal charges against me and not the gov­ern­ment.”

Mr Moleleki fur­ther said the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment would “pro­mote and deepen” democ­racy in Le­sotho and make col­lec­tive de­ci­sions as op­posed to the Abc-led coali­tion gov­ern­ment which he said had been mired in squab­bles.

DEMO­CRATIC Congress deputy leader Monyane Moleleki (left) shares a lighter mo­ment with party leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili in this file pic.

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