Mets­ing heck­led at party lead­ers de­bate

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

LE­SOTHO Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, was heck­led dur­ing a po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers de­bate held at le­hakoe Cen­tre late yes­ter­day.

A group of All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) and Ba­sotho na­tional Party (BNP) sup­port­ers kept in­ter­rupt­ing the deputy prime min­is­ter’s re­sponse to their ques­tions re­gard­ing his role in the col­lapse of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

The group con­tin­u­ally in­ter­jected and booed as the LCD leader at­tempted to an­swer their ques­tions, but still man­aged to make cut­ting re­marks about how he was not re­spon­si­ble for the coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to last its five-year term.

How­ever, the group de­manded to know why Mr Mets­ing was al­ways in­sist­ing on be­ing con­sulted by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane each time the ABC leader made a de­ci­sion. This claim was one of the rea­sons the gov­ern­ing al­liance of the ABC, BNP and LCD col­lapsed midterm, prompt­ing the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions bro­kered by the south­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC).

Said Moshoeshoe Moeketsi from the floor: “My un­der­stand­ing is that your claims of not be­ing con­sulted by your coali­tion part­ners landed us where we are to­day; you are to blame for this mess. Were the com­plaints nec­es­sary? We didn’t have a con­sti­tu­tion that spec­i­fied how a prime min­is­ter should work in a coali­tion gov­ern­ment set­ting.”

Maleeka Mony­atsi, also from the floor, ac­cused Mr Mets­ing of speak­ing about the con­sti­tu­tion in his pre­sen­ta­tion about the LCD poli­cies yes­ter­day yet he had acted as if it did not ex­ist when he be­came part of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment in June 2012.

Thato Ponya also asked Mr Mets­ing how the LCD in­tends to im­prove the public ser­vice should the party win the up­com­ing elec­tions.

In re­sponse, a very com­posed Mr Mets­ing said his party would “de­politi­cise” the civil ser­vice to en­sure work­ers are only hired on merit.

On com­plaints that Dr Tha­bane was not con­sult­ing him in the spirit of their Coali­tion Agree­ment, Mr Mets­ing said he al­ways laughs when­ever the is­sue comes up as peo­ple mis­un­der­stood what he meant.

“For in­stance, par­lia­ment had the pow­ers

to re­move the prime min­is­ter as we were no longer sat­is­fied with him but our agree­ment with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity was that we should go for elec­tions.

“We were told not to utilise the pow­ers we had and re­spected the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and agreed to go for elec­tions.

“How­ever right now, there is an agree­ment that there can be no hir­ing or fir­ing of peo­ple in state in­sti­tu­tions, but as we speak, the prime min­is­ter is dis­re­gard­ing the same agree­ments that helped him dodge a vo­teof-no-con­fi­dence in par­lia­ment, claim­ing he was pro­tected by the con­sti­tu­tion.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate we ap­proach is­sues this way and only re­spect the con­sti­tu­tion when it suits us. If that is the case, then SADC should have let us re­move him through a no­con­fi­dence vote.”

Mean­while, other party lead­ers — ABC sec­re­tary Gen­eral sa­monyane nt­sekele and the party’s deputy leader Tlali Khasu, BNP deputy leader Joang Mo­lapo, and the Demo­cratic Congress’ Teboho lehloenya — made their pre­sen­ta­tions be­fore the lively crowd with­out any hic­cups.

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