I’m stay­ing put: Mo­choboroane

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

SMALL Business De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane (pic­tured) has vowed to con­tinue serv­ing in the em­bat­tled seven-party coali­tion government “un­til the last whis­tle” amid spec­u­la­tion he in­tends to jump ship.

The fire­brand Mr Mo­choboroane, who is also Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) sec­re­tary-gen­eral also de­nounced his party’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in a con­tentious 18 Septem­ber march to sup­port the coali­tion government, say­ing it fu­elled the in­fight­ing that has brought the Demo­cratic Congress (DC) to the precipice of a split.

With six min­is­ters and a deputy min­is­ter hav­ing so far re­signed at the in­sti­ga­tion of the DC Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC), spec­u­la­tion was rife Mr Mo­choboroane would fol­low suit af­ter he snubbed the march along with DC of­fi­cials who have since with­drawn from the Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisililed government.

Or­gan­ised by Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress of­fi­cial Bokang Ra­matšella, the march was meant to show “full sol­i­dar­ity” with the coali­tion government and the “solid sup­port” the al­liance en­joyed from Ba­sotho.

Dr Mo­sisili’s DC formed a coali­tion government with the LCD, Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party, Ba­sotho Congress Party, Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party, LPC and Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tions re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment.

Mr Mo­choboroane’s spir­ited dis­as­so­ci­a­tion from the march trig­gered mur­murs he had fallen out with his LCD col­leagues and was only bid­ing his time be­fore join­ing the new­lyinked al­liance be­tween the DC’S Liru­rubele (but­ter­flies) fac­tion and the op­po­si­tion bloc to form a new government.

Un­der the pact with the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho, DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki would lead the coali­tion for the first 18 months upon form­ing government.

How­ever, in an in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times this week, Mr Mo­choboroane said he was stay­ing put and only re­lin­quish­ing his min­is­te­rial po­si­tion “if the government is ousted through law­ful means”.

“I will stay put and serve the government led by Ntate Mo­sisili un­til the last day when I am law­fully told to stop. I have a man­date that I need to ful­fil in government,” he said.

The Tha­bana-morena con­stituency mem­ber of par­lia­ment said he did not need to at­tend the march to show loy­alty with the government. Dr Mo­sisili ex­pressed con­ster­na­tion with min­is­ters who did not par­tic­i­pate in the march, say­ing it cast doubt on their loy­alty.

“I didn’t need to par­tic­i­pate in the march be­cause de­liv­er­ing my man­date as a min­is­ter is enough to show sup­port,” said Mr Mo­choboroane.

“Even though I had been told the march was not meant to be po­lit­i­cal, it didn’t make sense to me be­cause the peo­ple who were or­gan­is­ing it and were at the fore­front were politi­cians. I there­fore de­cided not to go.”

He said it would have been fool­hardy to at­tend a march that would stoke fur­ther di­vi­sions in the DC, es­pe­cially given the LCD had been ac­cused of caus­ing the in­fight­ing in the main coali­tion part­ner. The Liru­rubele fac­tion in gen­eral, and the DC Youth League in par­tic­u­lar, have ac­cused the LCD of fo­ment­ing strife in the DC with the in­ten­tion of swal­low­ing the party.

“I thought it not wise to take part in the march con­sid­er­ing the DC has been ac­cus­ing the LCD of fu­el­ing its in­ter­nal di­vi­sions. It wouldn’t have been wise to do so and it was to­tally against my prin­ci­ples,” Mo­choboroane said.

“I still stand by my po­si­tion of not call­ing for the Liru­rubele fac­tion min­is­ters to re­sign or sup­port­ing those want­ing to oust the government in par­lia­ment. I shall not be a part of or sup­port any of those groups.”

He added: “I have no business med­dling in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of the DC, ex­cept work­ingng with them in gov­ern­n­ment. I won’t takeke part in any­thing be-beyond that.

“Our par­ties are twotwo dif­fer­ent en­ti­ties and nd I re­spect the DC. I will not al­low my­self elf to be dragged into oth­ther par­ties’ business, ss, es­pe­cially neg­a­tive ive business that’s meant ant to bring di­vi­sions.”

Mr Mo­choboroane ne also touched on his re­cent reshuf­flingng from the En­ergy gy min­istry, say­ing con- n- trary to some peo­ple’s claims, he was not de­moted but given a more per­ti­nent portfolio. “I know that a lot of peo­ple feel hard done by with the re­cent cabi­net reshuf­fle, and some have said it was done ma­li­ciously. I beg to dif­fer,” he said. “For me, the reshuf­fle couldn’t have come at a more op­por­tune time given how im­pov­er­ished Ba­sotho are. The Small Business De­vel­op­ment min­istry is the hub of this coun­trycoun­try’ss econ­omy and wwe need to em­power our peo­ple. “I have no en­ergy to fi­fight cheap po­lit­i­cal bat­tles when my peo­ple are dy­ing of hunger. My en­ergy for small po­lit­i­cal bat­tles is ccom­pletely de­pleted­de­pleted. The lit­tle en­ergy I have re­served­served is to serve my pepeo­ple and my coun­try, re­gar­regard­less of wher­where I am post­posted. Un­til the last whistle­tle, I will wowork for my pepeo­ple and my coun­try.”

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