Ex­iled MP chal­lenges govt

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

SCORES of All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) sup­port­ers de­scended on Qoal­ing on Sun­day to show sup­port for the con­stituency’s ex­iled Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (MP) Cha­lane Phori.

Mr Phori fled the country for South Africa on 15 Fe­bru­ary this year al­legedly af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip-off from a “trusted source” about a plot to as­sas­si­nate him.

A week be­fore he sought refuge in the neigh­bour­ing country, Mr Phori and three fel­low ABC leg­is­la­tors had been sus­pended from the Na­tional Assem­bly for dis­rupt­ing pro­ceed­ings in the au­gust house.

Ad­dress­ing Sun­day’s Qoal­ing rally via cell­phone, Mr Phori chal­lenged the govern­ment to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of ev­ery ci­ti­zen re­gard­less of his or her po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion.

The MP also said he would con­tinue to crit­i­cize the govern­ment as it was his duty to hold the au­thor­i­ties to ac­count as an MP.

“If each time we com­plain about this govern­ment we are threat­ened and have to run away, then so be it be­cause we will never keep quiet,” said Mr Phori.

How­ever, Mr Phori ap­pealed for calm and ABC sup­port­ers not to break the law no-mat­ter how dis- grun­tled they might feel.

“Just pray, don’t burn any shops, don’t kill any­body. Pray be­cause we have come to the end of tyr- anny.

“This govern­ment is fin­ish­ing off the last drops of what’s in the bot­tle and will soon go as they are use­less to the peo­ple. If the Prime Min­is­ter, Ntate (Pakalitha) Mo­sisili, can’t pro­tect us as MPS, how then on earth can he pro­tect mere vot­ers?”

Mr Phori also slammed the govern­ment for “pro­tect­ing” Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) mem­bers im­pli­cated in the killing of for­mer army com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao, Lisebo Tang and po­lice Sub-in­spec­tor Mokhe­seng ramahloko.

Ms Tang was killed on 10 May 2014 when the car she was sit­ting in with her friend was pep­pered with bul­lets by LDF mem­bers guard­ing the home of army com­man­der Lt-gen Tlali Kamoli.

Sub-insp ramahloko, on the other hand, was shot dead on 30 Au­gust 2014 when sol­diers raided Po­lice Head­quar­ters in what the LDF later said was an op­er­a­tion to seize firearms from rogue po­lice of­fi­cers.

On the other hand, Lt-gen Ma­hao was killed in Mokema by LDF mem­bers who had come to ar­rest him for sus­pected mutiny. He was shot while re­sist­ing ar­rest, the army later said.

But ac­cord­ing to Mr Phori, the govern­ment should en­sure th­ese cases are fully in­ves­ti­gated.

“Ntate Mo­sisili, you have been given pow­ers to pro­tect us all, those you love and those that you hate.

“And we know very well that Ma­hao was killed dur­ing your ad­min­is­tra­tion but you just don’t seem to give a hoot; you are hatch­ing on th­ese cul­prits like a hen on its chicks.

“Get up and send them to the courts of law to an­swer for their acts,” said Mr Phori.

Hlotse MP, Keketso Sello, re­it­er­ated Mr Phori’s sen­ti­ments and called on Dr Mo­sisili to step down if his govern­ment could not guar­an­tee pro­tec­tion for ev­ery ci­ti­zen.

There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from the govern­ment re­gard­ing both Mr Phori and Mr Sello’s claims.

Mean­while, 25 “de­fec­tors” were wel­comed into the ABC dur­ing Sun­day’s rally.

ABC MP for Qoal­ing Cha­lane Phori.

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