Mets­ing warns Moleleki, Tha­bane

. . . as DC youth league hits back

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane and Billy Ntaote

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing has warned Monyane Moleleki and Thomas Tha­bane to stop telling “fairy­tales that will never turn into re­al­ity” about a change of government lest they face the wrath of the law.

Mr Mets­ing, who tem­po­rar­ily as­sumed the premier­ship dur­ing Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s work­ing trip to Al­ge­ria, also ac­cused Mr Moleleki and Dr Tha­bane, who are Demo­cratic Congress (DC) deputy leader All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) leader re­spec­tively, of giv­ing their sup­port­ers “false hope and in­flu­enc­ing them to en­gage in il­le­gal ways of chang­ing the government”.

How­ever, DC Youth League President Thuso Litjobo has hit back at Mr Mets­ing, say­ing the deputy premier is in “panic mode” af­ter the sign­ing of a coali­tion agree­ment meant to oust the seven-party gov­ern­ing al­liance.

Last Thurs­day, a DC fac­tion sup­port­ing Mr Moleleki signed a coali­tion pact with the ABC and its op­po­si­tion part­ners, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho to form a government of na­tional unity (GNU) to oust the gov­ern­ing seven-party al­liance.

This was af­ter Mr Moleleki’s fac­tion, which con­sists of the bulk of the DC’S Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) mem­bers on 10 Novem­ber this year pulled out of government and or­dered mem­bers, in­clud­ing party leader Dr Mo­sisili, to re­sign from their government po­si­tions.

Four min­is­ters and two deputy min­is­ters have since re­signed from government in con­for­mance with the NEC’S di­rec­tive, with Mr Moleleki and three other min­is­ters mov­ing to the Na­tional Assem­bly’s cross­bench to sig­nify their with­drawal from the government be­fore it was in­def­i­nitely ad­journed last week.

The NEC also sus­pended Dr Mo­sisili for al­leged mis­con­duct and ap­pointed Mr Moleleki as act­ing leader.

How­ever, Dr Mo­sisili did not take the di­rect chal­lenge to his rule ly­ing down, with the premier also sus­pend­ing 10 mem­bers of the NEC in­clud­ing Mr Moleleki and call­ing for a spe­cial party conference slated for to­mor­row.

The conference re­mains un­cer­tain af­ter the NEC mem­bers sup­port­ing Mr Moleleki made a High Court ap­pli­ca­tion to in­ter­dict Dr Mo­sisili and his sup­port­ers from hold­ing the ind­aba which will be heard to­day.

In a state­ment broad­cast on na­tional tele­vi­sion on Mon­day, Mr Mets­ing ac­cused Mr Moleleki and Dr Tha­bane of en­gag­ing in a “dan­ger­ous cam­paign of caus­ing con­fu­sion and mis­lead­ing the na­tion”.

“I am mak­ing this state­ment on be­half of the government with the aim of set­ting the record straight, and to strongly rep­ri­mand some peo­ple who seem to be on a dan­ger­ous cam­paign of caus­ing con­fu­sion within the na­tion and mis­lead­ing them con­cern­ing gov­er­nance is­sues,” he said.

Mr Mets­ing, who is also Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) leader, said dur­ing last Thurs­day’s press conference to an­nounce the coali­tion pact, Mr Moleleki and Dr Tha­bane stated as fact that a new government had been cre­ated.

“I should ex­plain from the on­set that there is noth­ing wrong when in­di­vid­u­als and groups of peo­ple an­nounce their part­ner­ship. There is ab­so­lutely noth­ing crim­i­nal about that,” he said.

“What is dis­turb­ing though are some of the statements that were ut­tered by Ntate Tha­bane and Ntate Moleleki at the press conference.”

Mr Mets­ing quoted Dr Tha­bane, who ad­dressed the press conference via tele­phone from his Ficks­burg base.

“We put be­fore you an agree­ment we have reached in or­der to form government and re­sus­ci­tate peace, sta­bil­ity and sol­i­dar­ity of the na­tion. This type of government we have agreed upon will be led by the two par­ties namely ABC and DC.”

The deputy premier also quoted, Mr Moleleki who said: “When all the pro­cesses are done, and this agree­ment of ours has been re­ceived by the Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker (Ntl­hoi Mot­samai), she must not de­lay to sub­mit it to His Majesty so that he can con­vene the Coun­cil of State for con­sul­ta­tion on when the new government will take over the reins.”

Mr Mets­ing said the statements gave the im­pres­sion a new government was al­ready formed and only await­ing in­au­gu­ra­tion.

“The na­tion can hear that Ntate Tha­bane is say­ing they have reached a de­ci­sion to form government, and that their par­ties will lead the government. And Ntate Moleleki, con­versely, says the new government should take over the reins,” said the deputy premier.

“There is no doubt this means is they have formed a new government and what is left is for their government to be of­fi­cially in­au­gu­rated and take over the reins.”

Mr Mets­ing stressed the government could only be changed in par­lia­ment ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho and the Na­tional Assem­bly Stand­ing Or­ders.

“There is no other way, and they (Dr Tha­bane and Mr Moleleki) know that very well. There­fore, they are not be­ing just to the peo­ple they serve. They are con­fus­ing the na­tion.”

He said the government was not shaken by the tu­mul­tuous events of re­cent weeks, adding “it re­mains in­tact”.

“The government of His Majesty, which was formed fol­low­ing the 2015 elec­tion, still ex­ists and is in power. It con­tin­ues with its ad­min­is­tra­tion. “They (Dr Tha­bane and Mr Moleleki) are say­ing all sorts of things be­cause they have em­barked on an un­for­tu­nate cam­paign to mis­lead the peo­ple. They give their peo­ple false hope that soon there will be change of government.

“These are dan­ger­ous pol­i­tics that could in­flu­ence some peo­ple to try to change the government through il­le­gal means.”

Mr Mets­ing added: “I can as­sure you the government is sta­ble. We are still in full con­trol of the government this na­tion has elected. There is noth­ing shak­ing the government; it re­mains in­tact. You are be­ing told lies about a change of regime.

“You are just be­ing told fairy­tales that will never turn into re­al­ity. I want to con­clude by strongly warn­ing these lead­ers who are on a cru­sade to mis­lead the na­tion, as well as their fol­low­ers, that they should re­frain efrain from sow­ing seeds of con­fu­sion ion to the na­tion; stop giv­ing false hope to your fol­low­ers; stop in­flu­enc­ing uenc­ing peo­ple to en­gage in il­le­gal l ways of chang­ing their government. ent. The government is strongly rep­ri­mand­ing you. Avoid en­gag­ing in vi­o­la­tions that could lead you into the hands of the law en­force­mentent agen­cies. You should all tread care­fully lest you end up on the wron­grong side of the law.”

How­ever,er, in their press conference con­vened vened to re­spond to Mr Mets­ing’s sing’s re­marks, the DC Youth League ex­ec­u­tive e com­mit­tee yes­ter­day y ac­cused the deputy premier of “pan­ick­ing”. ng”.

In his s re­marks, Mr Litjobo obo said: “The LCDD leader’s state­ment nt is just a sign he is pan­ick­ing. Mets­ing is in panic mode be­cause ecause he can re­alise that his fu­ture in the government does not look bright fol­low­ing the for­ma­tion of a part­ner­ship to form a government of na­tional unity by Ntate Moleleki and Ntate Tha­bane.”

He said Mr Mets­ing was wrong to sur­mise that Dr Tha­bane and Mr Moleleki had an­nounced they had formed a new government.

“They didn’t say that. All they are say­ing was that they en­tered into a coali­tion agree­ment for the es­tab­lish­ment of a GNU. But be­cause the LCD leader is against the unity of the na­tion due to his per­sonal in­ter­ests, he is try­ing to in­tim­i­date our lead­ers.

“We can­not al­low him to abuse his pow­ers and threaten Ntate Moleleki and Ntate Tha­bane for unit­ing Ba­sotho. We con­demn his state­ment in the strong­est terms.”

Mr Litjobo said the deputy premier’s threat of us­ing law en­force­ment agen­cies re­vealed his abuse of the state in­sti­tu­tions for po­lit­i­cal ends.

“For him to im­ply that our lead­ers’ ac­tions are tan­ta­mount to vi­o­la­tion of the law and there­fore the law en­force­ment will take ac­tion, it shows his abuse of the po­lice in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties es­pe­cially where he sees a po­lit­i­cal de­feat com­ing his way. Mets­ing is cer­tainly abus­ing his pow­ers,” he said.

“We are preach­ing unity and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of the Ba­sotho na­tion but Ntate Mets­ing seems hell-bent on draw­ing soldiers and po­lice of­fi­cers into fight­ing his po­lit­i­cal bat­tles. His di­vide and rule tac­tics are meant to bring di­vi­sions within the se­cu­rity agen­cies, and we won’t al­low that to hap­pen.”

Mr Litjobo also railed against Mr Mets­ing for “try­ing to in­still fear within the public and es­pe­cially mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion in an at­tempt to de­rail the union”.

“We won’t be eas­ily scared by his speeches. He can­not use the po­lice and army against any­body be­cause this is a po­lit­i­cal bat­tle that has noth­ing to do with the po­lice or army. We can see through his at­tempts to cause di­vi­sions in the po­lice and the army and stir con­fu­sion,” said Mr Litjobo.

They (Dr Tha­bane and Mr Moleleki) are say­ing all sorts of things be­cause they have em­barked on an un­for­tu­nate cam­paign to mis­lead the peo­ple. They give their peo­ple false hope that soon there will be change of government

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing

DC Youth League ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers ad­dress the press conference yes­ter­day.

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.