Correction and apology to the Prime Minister
IN a report entitled “Mosisili thumbs nose at america”, our sister newspaper, the Sunday Express quoted Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili as saying that he had received a call from a Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) official who had informed him of america’s decision to withhold aid to Lesotho because america wants to convince itself that peace and stability prevails in Lesotho before resuming aid.
our quotation read as follows: “yesterday, I was called from america by one of the MCC officials. He was talking about lesotho’s relation with america; he told me that they are holding their horses in terms of giving us donations. He said this decision was reached at because America first wanted to convince itself that indeed there is peace and stability in Lesotho. He said america wanted to be sure that the Lesotho army is under civilian control, so I said to him there was no problem at all. They can wait until they are satisfied that the army is not out of order……..”
We have learnt through the Prime Minister’s key advisors, dr Fako Likoti and Mrs Mamello Morrison, that dr Mosisili was not happy with our story.
We have reviewed the entire recording of the speech the Prime Minister made at a gathering of the Lesotho defence Force (LDF) in Qacha’s Nek and satisfied ourselves that the Prime Minister never specifically singled out having spoken to an MCC official.
Instead the Prime Minister mentioned in general that he had spoken to someone from America without specifically saying this person was from the MCC. In fact he never mentioned the MCC but said in general “yesterday I was talking with one of the international people who had called me from america…..
Though the rest of the quotation is correct, we were wrong in including that the PM had spokem to an MCC official as he never made reference to an MCC official.
The Prime Minister has also taken umbrage with one of our poster boards which read: “We don’t need america: Mosisili”
read as a whole, the essence of the Prime Minister’s speech was to criticise aid which comes with conditions that he believes infringes on a country’s right to make its own sovereign decisions. He did not say Lesotho does not need america’s aid as the poster implied. Indeed Lesotho needs help from international development partners, but the essence of his speech was that if they decide not to give, Lesotho has no power to force them. Since the americans have decided to defer the vote on Lesotho’s participation in the MCC, the jist of the Prime Minister’s case was to say Lesotho has no option but to wait until the Americans have satisfied themselves that all was well in the country.
In our editorial in Volume 8 Issue 37 of the Lesotho Times, dr Mosisili’s advisor dr Likoti was criticised for saying Lesotho would consider taking Zimbabwean President robert Mugabe’s approach of “putting Sadc in its place”. However dr Likoti never said Lesotho was going to take the Zimbabwe approach in the actual story on which the comment was based. He only mentioned Zimbabwe in passing while giving examples of countries in which Sadc made recommendations that were either accepted or rejected by the governments of those countries. We sincerely apologise to the Prime Minister and dr Likoti for these errors.
PRIME Minister’s Political advisor dr Fako Likoti.