The year that was!

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

The year 2015 will go down as one of the most event­ful in the his­tory of the Moun­tain King­dom.

From an early par­lia­men­tary elec­tion that re­sulted in the change of govern­ment to the fa­tal shoot­ing of for­mer army com­man­der Maa­parankoe Ma­hao by his mil­i­tary col­leagues, 2015 is a year most Ba­sotho would be happy that it has fi­nally come to an end.

The Le­sotho Times chron­i­cles some of the ma­jor high­lights of the year.

Jan 14: The high Court rules that Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s es­tranged wife, Lipolelo, is the coun­try’s of­fi­cial First Lady and also that she be im­me­di­ately af­forded all the ben­e­fits that come with her po­si­tion, among them a chauf­feur-driven govern­ment ve­hi­cle and a body­guard.

Jan 15: King’s Coun­sel Kananelo Mos­ito is con­firmed as Court of Ap­peal pres­i­dent.

Feb 25: Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing loses court bid to block the Di­rec­torate on Cor­rup­tion and eco­nomic Of­fences (DCEO) from in­ves­ti­gat­ing him for pos­si­ble cor­rup­tion.

Feb 28: Ba­sotho go to an early elec­tion bro­kered by SADC in a bid to re­store or­der and sta­bil­ity fol­low­ing a coup at­tempt on 30 Au­gust 2014, which forced Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane to briefly seek refuge in South Africa.

The coup was staged as the fall­out be­tween coali­tion govern­ment lead­ers, Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane of the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, his deputy Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing of the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy and Sports Min­is­ter Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane of the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party, deep­ened.

March 4: Seven par­ties form a coali­tion govern­ment af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary polls had failed to pro­duce a ma­jor­ity win­ner. Dr Tha­bane and his coali­tion re­lin­quish power, but Mr Mets­ing stays on af­ter his LCD joined the Demo­cratic Congress (DC), Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy (PFD), Ba­sotho Congress Party (BCP), Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC), Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP) and Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (NIP) in the new govern­ment.

March 9: Mem­bers of the Par­lia­ment are sworn in.

9th

March 17: DC leader Dr Pakalitha Mo­sisili is sworn in as Prime Min­is­ter. Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli re­turns from leave of ab­sence.

March 30: South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) Fa­cil­i­ta­tor and South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa closed down the SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Mis­sion in Maseru. The mis­sion had been es­tab­lished to co­or­di­nate Le­sotho’s road to sta­bil­ity cul­mi­nat­ing in the 28 Fe­bru­ary polls.

April 2: Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana and Lt-gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao re­turn from leave of ab­sence.

The leave, which had be­gun in Novem­ber 2014, was bro­kered by SADC to en­sure Le­sotho went to the elec­tions with­out threats of vi­o­lence from the po­lice and army, whose feud­ing had been sparked by feud­ing be­tween the three se­cu­rity chiefs.

April 14: Top lawyers take on Ad­vo­cate Mos­ito and write him a scathing let­ter. Sale­mane Phafane, Motiea Teele, Karabo Mo­hau, Zwe­lakhe Mda (all King’s Coun­sel) and At­tor­ney Qhale­hang Let­sika ac­cused Jus­tice Mos­ito of “us­ing the weight of his of­fice to bring in­ter­nal mat­ters of the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) into the pub­lic do­main, and politi­cis­ing them”.

In re­sponse, Jus­tice Mos­ito crit­i­cised At­tor­ney Gen­eral Tšokolo Makhethe for “ill-ad­vis­ing” the Com­mis­sion, which he be­lieved led to the re­jec­tion of the four judges he had pro­posed to hear cases in the 2015 first ses­sion of the Court of Ap­peal sched­uled for 20 April to 5 May.

May 8: Ninth Na­tional As­sem­bly re­con­venes fol­low­ing its in­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion in April.

May 9: Prom­i­nent busi­ness­man and ABC sup­porter Thabiso Tšosane is gunned down in Maseru.

his sud­den death left the coun­try shocked and hun­dreds of his de­pen­dents in the cold and won­der­ing what the fu­ture held for them now that ‘the good Sa­mar­i­tan’ was gone too soon at only 45 years of age.

May 11: Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment, Dr Thomas Mot­soa­hae Tha­bane flees the coun­try for South Africa fear­ing for his life.

May 13: BNP leader Th­e­sele Maserib­ane also flees for SA fear­ing for his life. May 21: A Govern­ment Gazette ap­points Lt-gen Kamoli as LDF com­man­der and back­dates the ap­point­ment to 29 Au­gust 2014.

An­other gazette is is­sued on the same date ter­mi­nat­ing Lt-gen Ma­hao’s ap­point­ment as army com­man­der.

May 26: RCL leader Keketso Ran­tšo also flees and seeks refuge in South Africa say­ing she feared for her life.

May 26: De­fence and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter, Tšeliso Mokhosi, tells par­lia­ment that govern­ment had un­cov­ered a mutiny plot in the LDF.

June 25: Ba­sotho are shocked as they learn of the un­timely death of Lt-gen Ma­hao. Lt-gen Ma­hao was gunned down by LDF mem­bers in his Mokema vil­lage on the out­skirts of Maseru, al­legedly as he ressted ar­rest for sus­pected mutiny.

June 26: Op­po­si­tion Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS) walk out of the au­gust house, claim­ing that their is­sues of con­cern in­clud­ing se­cu­rity and the killing of Lt-gen Ma­hao were be­ing over­looked.

They de­manded that the house be given a full ac­count of Ma­hao’s killing by govern­ment. July 15: Min­is­ter of en­ergy Se­libe Mo­choboroane warns of se­vere drought and the need for Le­sotho to adapt to ex­treme cli­matic con­di­tions. The min­is­ter said this was go­ing to be the dri­est and hottest weather in 43 years.

July 22: Le­sotho Sun and Maseru Sun are re­branded to Avani Le­sotho ho­tel & Casino and Avani Maseru ho­tel re­spec­tively dur­ing a glit­ter­ing cer­e­mony held at the newly-named Avani Maseru Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. The re­brand­ing fol­lowed last year’s deal in which global gam­ing and re­sorts gi­ants, Sun In­ter­na­tional di­vested from the two ho­tels and sold them to Thai­land-based firm, Mi­nor Ho­tel Group (MHG).

Aug 20: Le­sotho’s high Com­mis­sioner to South Africa ‘ Male­jaka Le­tooane, Jo­han­nes­burg Consul-gen­eral, Mophethe Seka­mane, Dur­ban Consul-gen­eral Lerato Tšosane and high Com­mis­sioner to Malaysia, Dr ’Maba­phuthi Moorosi Mo­lapo are re­called by the govern­ment, bring­ing the num­ber of re­turnees to eight along­side Bothata Tsikoane (In­dia), Fel­leng Makeka (United King­dom), Sempe Le­jaha (Italy) and Nkopane Monyane (Switzer­land), who had been

Oct 22: Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s Political Ad­vi­sor, Fako Likoti, says the op­po­si­tion bloc’s con­tin­ued boy­cott of par­lia­ment could re­sult in the hold­ing of by-elec­tions in their con­stituen­cies. he says 41 of the op­po­si­tion par­ties’ 55 di­rectly elected par­lia­men­tary seats would be in jeop­ardy should the MPS fail to pitch up when the leg­is­la­ture re­con­vened on 30 Oc­to­ber 2015. The other 14 seats were awarded by a pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion sys­tem.

Nov 11: Four prom­i­nent doc­tors, Dr Piet Mcpherson, Dr Ntšinyi Makoa, Dr Mok­iba Rathebe and Dr Cheng are ac­cused of dis­pens­ing ex­pired drugs. The ex­pired med­i­ca­tion is seized.

Nov 12: Ba­sotho learn that the govern­ment has paid M32 mil­lion to First Na­tional Bank (FNB) which mem­bers of the eighth Par­lia­ment still owed the in­sti­tu­tion when their term of of­fice pre­ma­turely ended in March this year. The leg­is­la­tors qual­i­fied for M500 000 in­ter­est-free loans from the bank as part of their ben­e­fits, and were sup­posed to re­pay the money over five years. The govern­ment un­der­wrote the loans and also paid in­ter­est on be­half of the MPS.

Dec 15: The re­sults of an au­topsy of the late Lt-gen Ma­hao are leaked. They re­veal that his body had eleven wounds ‘ caused by high-ve­loc­ity mil­i­tary type weapons’.

Dec 22: Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili de­clares a state of drought emer­gency and ap­peals for aid from de­vel­op­ment part­ners.

Maa­parankoe Ma­hao’s cof­fin is taken to the ceme­try in Mokema in this file pic­ture.

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane (left) af­ter hand­ing over power to Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili at Set­soto Sta­dium in this 17 March pic­ture.

JUS­TICE Mpa­phi Phumaphi led the SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into the death of Lt-gen Ma­hao.

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