Rakuoane slams Tha­bane

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

LERIBE — Home Affairs Min­is­ter Ad­vo­cate Lekhetho Rakuoane says for­mer prime min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane has no one to blame but him­self for the mid­way col­lapse of his tri­par­tite govern­ment.

Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane made the re­mark on Sun­day dur­ing Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing’s be­lated 49th birth­day party held in Ma­hobong.

Ac­cord­ing to Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane, Dr Tha­bane’s fail­ure to re­spect Mr Mets­ing, who was his deputy, was one of the rea­sons his govern­ment could not last its fiveyear term.

Dr Tha­bane’s All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), Mr Mets­ing’s Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) and Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) led by Th­e­sele ‘ Maserib­ane formed a coali­tion govern­ment af­ter the May 2012 elec­tions had re­sulted in a hung par­lia- ment. How­ever, per­sis­tent squab­bling be­tween Dr Tha­bane and Mr Mets­ing re­sulted in the col­lapse of the al­liance and a snap elec­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

The poll saw Dr Tha­bane’s regime be­ing re­placed by a seven-party govern­ment com­pris­ing the LCD, Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane’s Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy (PFD), Demo­cratic Congress (DC), Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC), Ba­sotho Congress Party (BCP), Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP) and Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party (NIP).

“As govern­ment, we know Mets­ing was one of the many peo­ple ha­rassed dur­ing Ntate Tha­bane’s regime, de­spite the fact that he was the one who made him prime min- is­ter. Had it not been for Mets­ing, Tha­bane would not have been the prime min­is­ter of Le­sotho,” Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane said.

The PFD leader also spoke of how some con­cerned politi­cians tried to talk Dr Tha­bane out of his “bad treat­ment” of Mr Mets­ing to no avail.

“When some of us re­buked him on his chi­canery of in­sult­ing the first agree­ment ever that led to the for­ma­tion of a coali­tion govern­ment, he turned his back on what had made him lucky to be a prime min­is­ter,” he said amid tor­ren­tial rain, which Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane noted was a sign the cel­e­bra­tion, or­gan­ised by the LCD was “di­rected by the Holy Spirit” since Mr Mets­ing had been against it.

“I sus­pect you could have been di­rected by the Holy Spirit to hold this cel­e­bra­tion so as to cleanse him of all the bad luck cast upon him dur­ing the pre­vi­ous govern­ment, from which we all mirac­u­lously es­caped,” Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane said.

Mean­while, in his ad­dress, Mr Mets­ing said the fact that he was the deputy premier did not mean he was bet­ter than the rest of Ba­sotho.

“I was telling my guests that I was not part of this cel­e­bra­tion’s prepa­ra­tions; I told them that my party’s lead­er­ship de­cided that it be held to­day al­though my birth­day was on 2 Fe­bru­ary,” Mr Mets­ing said.

“I have noth­ing to say ex­cept to thank the Almighty God and all of

you for tak­ing some time off your busy sched­ules.

“I was born like all of you; I’m only hu­man and of flesh and blood and I will die like all of you. Your cel­e­brat­ing my birth­day does not mean I am any bet­ter than the rest of you, which is why I’m hum­bled.”

The Le­sotho Times could not get hold of Dr Tha­bane for his re­sponse but ABC deputy leader, Khauta Khasu said Ad­vo­cate Rakuoane’s “ut­ter­ances” were un­called for.

“His ut­ter­ances were ir­rel­e­vant for that par­tic­u­lar fo­rum. It ap­pears he has a prob­lem of mix­ing is­sues. The least we’d all ex­pect at a birth­day cel­e­bra­tion is wish­ing Mets­ing a long life,” Mr Khasu said.

“In fact, Rakuoane’s ut­ter­ances spoiled the good in­ten­tions of the cel­e­bra­tion and tar­nished Mets­ing’s im­age as a per­son. He blun­dered big time.”

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