Moleleki taunts ‘ter­ri­fied enemies’

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

DEMO­CRATIC Congress (DC) deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki, has re­acted an­grily to al­le­ga­tions that he now feared for his life af­ter his party threat­ened him with un­spec­i­fied ac­tion should he de­fect to the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) al­liance.

Ac­cord­ing to the ru­mour mill, and BNP deputy leader Joang Mo­lapo, Mr Moleleki had al­legedly been ne­go­ti­at­ing with the two par­ties in a bid to join them along­side “sev­eral other dis­grun­tled DC Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS)”.

It is al­leged Mr Moleleki and the MPS were not happy that he had not been made deputy pre­mier in the new gov­ern­ment to be led by DC leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili, who was sworn-in as prime min­is­ter last week in the wake of the 28 Fe­bru­ary snap elec­tions.

But in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times this week, Mr Moleleki con­demned the “ma­li­cious ru­mours”, which he said were be­ing spread by “enemies” ter­ri­fied that now that he was back in gov­ern­ment, he might “re­tal­i­ate” for the “tor­ture” they sub­jected him while they were in power.

Mr Moleleki — whose party formed a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD), More­mat­lou Free­dom Party ( MFP), Ba­sotho Congress Party ( BCP), Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (NIP), Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) and Popular Front for Democ­racy (PFD) af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tion re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment — is tipped to be ap­pointed Min­is­ter of Po­lice when the pre­mier fi­nally an­nounces his cabi­net.

“Let me state this very clearly from the on­set, that there is no truth what­so­ever in th­ese claims. First and fore­most, I am not ne­go­ti­at­ing with the ABC on any­thing, and again, I am very happy in the DC.

“This is all a pack of lies by peo­ple who are ter­ri­fied that maybe I am as vin­dic­tive as they are, and that I might go af­ter them for what­ever they were do­ing to me when they were in power, but for­tu­nately, I don’t sink that low and pur­sue a per­sonal vendetta the way they did,” Mr Moleleki said, in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to his cases of al­leged cor­rup­tion cur­rently be­fore the courts of law.

Ac­cord­ing to the DC deputy leader, con­trary to what his “de­trac­tors” were say­ing, he had never asked for Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice guards as op­posed to Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) se­cu­rity once he is sworn-in as a min­is­ter.

Mr Moleleki also con­demned as “shame­less lies”, al­le­ga­tions that he even “briefly” fled to South Africa last week to es­cape DC mem­bers who were bay­ing for his blood over the al­leged de­fec­tion, as well as re­ports that he was un­happy that LCD leader Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing had been pre­ferred over him for the deputy pre­mier po­si­tion.

“I would have laughed if this was not such a se­ri­ous mat­ter, but it is pure fab­ri­ca­tion that I fled to South Africa be­cause I had re­ceived death threats from mem­bers of my own party. There has never been such a threat from the DC or any­one else, for that mat­ter, and as far as Mr Mets­ing is con­cerned, we have a very good work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

“Ever since the Congress move­ment agree­ment was signed (on 4 March 2015) to form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment, I have been hav­ing very cor­dial meet­ings with him and never fight over any­thing.

“I even had an in­for­mal meet­ing with him at his home yes­ter­day, so where does this al­le­ga­tion of bad blood be­tween him and me come from? Does it even make sense?”

On the is­sue of his se­cu­rity, Mr Moleleki said he had never made any spe­cial re­quest from any quar­ter re­gard­ing who should guard him.

“The po­lice are not sur­round­ing my house for the sim­ple rea­son that they are not giv­ing me any se­cu­rity. When you en­tered through the gate right now, did you see any spe­cial se­cu­rity or po­lice of­fi­cers around this house? Were you scanned when you came in to check whether you were car­ry­ing any spe­cial cam­eras or weapons? Do I look like a man who is fear­ing for his life?

“And in any case, if I was to need VIP pro­tec­tion at some point from the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho, it would def­i­nitely be the mil­i­tary not the po­lice, be­cause that is the stan­dard pro­ce­dure.”

Re­turn­ing to the al­leged fall­out with Mr Mets­ing over the deputy premier­ship post, Mr Moleleki said it would be fool­hardy for him not to ac­knowl­edge the LCD’S value to the al­liance.

“I am an in­tel­lec­tual and un­der­stand fig­ures so much and wouldn’t make such a mis­take of not ac­knowl­edg­ing Mr Mets­ing’s con­tri­bu­tion to our coali­tion.

“I am fully aware that the ABC could have re­tained power if the LCD had de­cided to re­new their al­liance that saw them form the first coali­tion gov­ern­ment along­side the BNP, in 2012.

“In our ini­tial agree­ment with Mr Mets­ing (signed in June 2014 at the height of in­fight­ing in the LCD, ABC and BNP coali­tion gov­ern­ment over Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s al­leged dic­ta­to­rial ten­den­cies, which led to the col­lapse of the gov­ern­ment half­way through its five-year term and last month’s elec­tion), he was promised the po­si­tion of Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and there was no way that I could turn around now and say I am not happy with this ar­range­ment.

I was part of that ini­tial agree­ment so there is no way I can be an­gry with this now,” Mr Moleleki added.

Asked if it was true that Dr Mo­sisili had ap­proached South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to me­di­ate once again, over an al­leged dis­pute be­tween the seven coali­tion Congress part­ners in the new gov­ern­ment, over min­is­te­rial po­si­tions, Mr Moleleki said: “Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth; there is no dishar­mony be­tween the seven par­ties in our new coali­tion.

“I also hear peo­ple talk­ing about a grand coali­tion be­tween us and the ABC, which can never hap­pen. Our cur­rent coali­tion has 65 par­lia­men­tary seats, while the other group has 55, and the min­i­mum we need to be in gov­ern­ment is 61.

This is a com­fort­able cush­ion so this grand coali­tion with the ABC would be un­nec­es­sary.”

Mr Moleleki added: “Let’s just spec­u­late; peo­ple see me as a threat be­cause of what they did to me when they were in gov­ern­ment.

“They think I am all out to set­tle old scores, but I wouldn’t stoop so low just to set­tle old scores.

“If some­one does a ter­ri­ble thing to you, you should not take re­venge be­cause you wouldn’t be any bet­ter than that ma­li­cious in­di­vid­ual. The only dif­fer­ence would be who wronged the other first.

“For ex­am­ple, if some­one rapes your daugh­ter, do­ing the same to his child puts you in the same boat with him and like I said, I wouldn’t stoop so low as to pur­sue such a per­sonal agenda.”

Asked if the de­lay in nam­ing a cabi­net by the pre­mier was a sign that all was not well in the al­liance, Mr Moleleki: “No; far from it. I am not com­fort­able with this lengthy process my­self but at the same time, I know the steps which have to be taken to en­sure the right peo­ple are ap­pointed.

“We first have to un­der­stand that Sen­a­tors should be sworn-in first, be­cause some of them would then be ap­pointed min­is­ters.

“There are for­mal­i­ties to be fol­lowed be­fore cabi­net is sworn-in and th­ese things are not so easy when there are so many par­ties in a coali­tion.

“But with one party in power, it was go­ing to be much eas­ier. “Now Ntate Mo­sisili has to ac­com­mo­date our col­leagues in the coali­tion and un­der­stand­ably, he has taken long. Do I like it? No,” he said.

Mr Moleleki also said the Coali­tion Agree­ment, which would give clear guide­lines on how the seven-party gov­ern­ment would func­tion, was yet to be fi­nalised.

“The agree­ment is not yet ready but im­me­di­ately it is, the public would be made aware of it,” he said.

Let’s just spec­u­late; peo­ple see me as a threat be­cause of what they did to me when they were in gov­ern­ment. They think I am all out to set­tle old scores, but I wouldn’t stoop so low just to set­tle old scores. If some­one does a ter­ri­ble thing to you, you should not take re­venge be­cause you wouldn’t be any bet­ter than that ma­li­cious in­di­vid­ual

DC Deputy Leader Monyane Moleleki (right) and his wife ‘Malimpho show their joy dur­ing the PM in­au­gu­ra­tion in this file pic­ture.

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