An­other min­is­ter re­signs

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

DE­VEL­OP­MENT Plan­ning Min­is­ter Mokoto Hloaele has re­signed from government in yet an­other blow to the em­bat­tled Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili-led gov­ern­ing coali­tion.

Mr Hloaele joins four min­is­ters and two deputy min­is­ters in re­sign­ing af­ter the Demo­cratic Congress (DC) Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) di­rected party mem­bers to pull out of government.

The NEC, which mostly con­sists of DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki’s sup­port­ers, on 10 Novem­ber this year with­drew from the coali­tion government ear­lier this month.

The NEC also in­structed party mem­bers in­clud­ing DC leader, Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili, to re­sign from the seven-party coali­tion government which they ac­cused of cor­rup­tion, nepo­tism and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing re­la­tions with de­vel­op­ment part­ners among other al­leged of­fences.

In line with the NEC’S di­rec­tive, Mr Moleleki – who had been moved to the Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice portfolio -- re­signed along with DC Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ralechate ’Mokose (Forestry and Land Recla­ma­tion), Public Works and Trans­port Deputy Min­is­ter ’ Man­thabiseng Phohleli, Law, Con­sti­tu­tion and Hu­man Rights Min­is­ter Mokhele Mo­let­sane, and Local Government Deputy Min­is­ter Kotiti Li­holo.

Dr Mo­sisili, who was also sus­pended by the NEC, has since dis­missed the with­drawal from the coali­tion government as “null and void” while also sus­pend­ing 10 of the com­mit­tee’s mem­bers whom he de­scribed as rebels.

Mr Hloaele yes­ter­day con­firmed his res­ig­na­tion in an in­ter­view with the Le­sotho Times, but said he was told by act­ing premier Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing to re­main in of­fice un­til Dr Mo­sisili’s re­turn yes­ter­day from a work­ing trip to Al­ge­ria.

“Yes, I have re­signed but I am still in of­fice wait­ing for the prime min­is­ter’s re­turn as per the re­quest of the act­ing PM Ntate Mets­ing,” he said.

The Le­sotho Times is in pos­ses­sion of a copy of Mr Hloaele’s res­ig­na­tion let­ter which is also copied to Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Ntl­hoi Mot­samai.

Part of the let­ter, dated 28 Novem­ber 2016, reads: “I earnestly and whole­heart­edly thank you for af­ford­ing me the op­por­tu­nity on the 14th of Novem­ber to re­flect on what po­si­tion or direc­tion I want to take fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tions from the min­is­te­rial po­si­tion on the 11th of Novem­ber by some cabi­net min­is­ters.

“I did re­flect and, af­ter care­ful as­sess­ment and thought, I have come to the con­clu­sion to re­sign from my min­is­te­rial po­si­tion, as I hereby do. It has not been an easy de­ci­sion to make given the fac­tors at play but I had to make it.”

Mr Hloaele adds: “Like­wise, I sin­cerely thank you for the trust you be­stowed on me by al­low­ing me to serve in the Cabi­net. It was an ever-to-re­mem­ber ex­pe­ri­ence for me. Kea leboha Ntate.

Lastly, as I have been do­ing over the years since I got to know you, I will al­ways turn to you for ad­vice and guid­ance. I wait your guid­ance Ntate on my exit.”

Spec­u­la­tion has also been rife Public Ser­vice Min­is­ter Tsukut­lane Au would also re­sign in line with the NEC di­rec­tive. How­ever, Mr Au yes­ter­day ex­pressed “shock” at the ru­mours of his exit, say­ing he has no plans of do­ing so.

“I haven’t re­signed and have no plan to do so now. I am shocked by this spec­u­la­tion and don’t even know where it em­anates from. But since I can’t pre­dict the fu­ture, I don’t know what it holds for me,” he coyly said.

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