Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili has fired So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Mo­lahlehi Let­lotlo ( pic­tured) and his coun­ter­part Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment ’Man­toetsi Mo­hatonyane at the be­hest of their for­mer par­ties in the seven-party gov­ern­ing coali­tion.

Ms Mo­hatonyane de­fected to the Move­ment for Eco­nomic Change (MEC) from the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) ear­lier this month, while Mr Let­lotlo lost a fight for the lead­er­ship of the Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) in the High Court last month.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day by the of­fice of the Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary, Le­bo­hang Ramohlanka, the min­is­ters were sacked af­ter the LCD and LPC re­quested to Dr Mo­sisili.

Par­ties in the gov­ern­ing coali­tion in­clude the Demo­cratic Congress, LCD, LPC, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy, Ba­sotho Congress Party, Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party and the Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party.

The coali­tion formed gov­ern­ment on 4 March 2015 af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 elec­tions re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment, with DC leader Dr Mo­sisili tak­ing the pre­mier­ship.

The seven-party gov­ern­ing coali­tion has since been top­pled in a par­lia­men­tary no-con­fi­dence vote en­gi­neered by a four-party op­po­si­tion bloc. King Let­sie III dis­solved par­lia­ment on 6 March 2017 and pro­claimed 3 June 2017 as elec­tion day.

Mr Let­lotlo lost a court bat­tle with his erst­while deputy in the LPC, Mabusetsa Makhar­ilele, last month af­ter the for­mer’s lawyers did not pitch up in court to pros­e­cute the case.

In the case, Mr Let­lotlo sought to chal­lenge his ex­pul­sion from the party’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) along with 15 of his sup­port­ers.

The LPC’S trou­bles started when Mr Let­lotlo ex­pelled the party’s then sec­re­tary-gen­eral Moipone Piti and the then pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary Bokang Ra­matšella in Oc­to­ber 2015.

An Oc­to­ber 2015 con­fer­ence con­vened by Mr Makhar­ilele’s fac­tion to elect the LPC’S NEC ousted the com­mit­tee led by Mr Let­lotlo.

Dur­ing the con­fer­ence, Mr Makhar­ilele – who was then deputy leader – was elected as LPC leader with Mr Ra­matšella also elected as the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the party.

Af­ter Mr Let­lotlo’s fac­tion was ousted, the newly-elected NEC wrote a let­ter to Dr Mo­sisili urg­ing him to dis­miss Mr Let­lotlo from the min­is­te­rial post.

How­ever, Mr Let­lotlo and his fac­tion chal­lenged the con­fer­ence’s out­comes in the High Court with an ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing an or­der nul­li­fy­ing the new NEC.

Fol­low­ing his court de­feat last month, Mr Let­lotlo has since filed an ap­pli­ca­tion ap­peal­ing the rul­ing to hand over the party reins to Mr Makhar­ilele.

The In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) last month lifted its sus­pen­sion of the LPC from par­tic­i­pat­ing in party ac­tiv­i­ties in light of the court rul­ing.

The sus­pen­sion had been ef­fected ear­lier this year pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the case. How­ever, Mr Let­lotlo has since writ­ten a let­ter to the IEC com­plain­ing over the de­ci­sion, say­ing the mat­ter was still be­fore the courts.

In the mean­time, Mr Let­lotlo has joined forces with the Le­sotho Worker’s Party in cam­paign­ing for the 3 June 2017 elec­tions.

Con­tacted for com­ment on his dis­missal yes­ter­day, an irate Mr Let­lotlo said: “Don’t ask me to com­ment on that be­cause that is my busi­ness and not yours.

“I will only com­ment to­mor­row and don’t even ask me any fur­ther ques­tions be­cause this is my busi­ness and I choose not to an­swer.”

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