Parly dis­cusses Tha­bane and strik­ing MPS

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

Deputy Prime min­is­ter mo­thetjoa mets­ing on mon­day told par­lia­ment that south african Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma “only laughed” when he asked him un­der what con­di­tion was op­po­si­tion leader, thomas tha­bane, liv­ing in his coun­try.

mr mets­ing said he posed the ques­tion a fort­night ago dur­ing the of­fi­cial open­ing of the South­ern african Cus­toms union (sacu) head­quar­ters in Wind­hoek, namibia. Dr tha­bane has been liv­ing in South Africa since he fled Le­sotho in may this year af­ter claim­ing some mem­bers of the army, led by their com­man­der lieu­tenan­tGen­eral tlali Kamoli, were out to as­sas­si­nate him in re­tal­i­a­tion for al­legedly vic­tim­is­ing them while he was prime min­is­ter be­tween June 2012 and march 2015.

On mon­day, malin­goa­neng Con­stituency mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (mp) se­ri­a­long Qoo wanted to know what the House was go­ing to do to op­po­si­tion leg­is­la­tors who have been boy­cotting sit­tings since 26 June this year.

all 55 op­po­si­tion mps from Dr tha­bane’s all Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), Ba­sotho na­tional Party (BNP), and re­formed Congress of le­sotho (rcl) have vowed to con­tinue with their boy­cott un­til their lead­ers re­turn from ex­ile in south Africa and Lt-gen Kamoli is fired.

in ad­di­tion to Dr tha­bane, BNP leader th­e­sele ‘maserib­ane and rcl leader Keketso ran­tšo have also been liv­ing in south africa since may for fear of the le­sotho De­fence Force.

mr Qoo asked mr mets­ing, who is leader of the House: “What is wor­ry­ing is the fact that op­po­si­tion mps con­tinue to re­ceive salaries with­out per­form­ing their du­ties. they are stay­ing away for no ap­par­ent rea­son and we won­der what is go­ing to be done about it.

“the Deputy Prime min­is­ter is telling the house about the need to be re­spon­si­ble when it comes to pub­lic funds, but he is say­ing noth­ing about mps who con­tinue to draw salaries from govern­ment cof­fers with­out do­ing any par­lia­men­tary work.”

in re­sponse, mr mets­ing said the DC leg­is­la­tor had asked “a very good ques­tion”, which he noted was al­luded to last month by Home affairs min­is­ter lekhetho rakuoane when he ap­peared be­fore the sadc Com­mis­sion prob­ing le­sotho’s se­cu­rity chal­lenges. ad­vo­cate rakuoane told the Com­mis­sion the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion was clear that mps who missed ses­sions for a cer­tain pe­riod would lose their seats and by-elec­tions held in their con­stituen­cies.

“i think Ntate rakuoane re­minded the pub­lic about what the law says about such state of affairs in the na­tional as­sem­bly of le­sotho. i hope when the time out­lined in the con­sti­tu­tion passes, then we won’t hes­i­tate on this is­sue as ev­ery mosotho has to abide by the law,” mr mets­ing said.

He then spoke about his mis­sion to namibia af­ter Prime min­is­ter Pakalitha mo­sisili had asked him to rep­re­sent him at the sacu meet­ing.

“i told Pres­i­dent Zuma that there are peo­ple who now re­side just across the mo­hokare river in his coun­try who claim to have fled Le­sotho. i told him what’s shock­ing is in the morn­ing, th­ese peo­ple’s ve­hi­cles cross the bor­der to be re­fu­elled for free here by the govern­ment.

“i also told him if we wanted th­ese peo­ple, i won­der what could stop us from just fetch­ing them from Ficks­burg where they are stay­ing,” said mr mets­ing.

“again, i asked Pres­i­dent Zuma whether he takes Ntate tha­bane as a refugee or if he had been granted a cer­tain sta­tus by the south african govern­ment. “the Pres­i­dent only laughed.” mr mets­ing then ap­pealed to the op­po­si­tion “to be sym­pa­thetic” to le­sotho.

“We have to be sym­pa­thetic to the coun­try and its im­pov­er­ished peo­ple as it is wrong for mps to con­tinue earn­ing salaries when they are not work­ing.

“the Prime min­is­ter just re­minded me here of the is­sue of no-work, no-pay. so th­ese heads of state and govern­ment were telling me in namibia that in their coun­tries, there is a limit con­cern­ing the days mps can be ab­sent from par­lia­ment and how they are sur­prised about the way we do things here in le­sotho.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.