Mo­sisili blasts coali­tion govt

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE leader of the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Congress (DC), Pakalitha Mo­sisili (pic­tured) has launched a scathing at­tack on Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s gov­ern­ment for al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary and politi­cis­ing the se­cu­rity agen­cies.

Dr Mo­sisili also ac­cused the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) of in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of Le­sotho.

Speak­ing at a rally this week in Ma­hobong in the Leribe dis­trict, the for­mer prime min­is­ter said while gov­ern­ments had come and gone, this was the first time that the pil­lars of gov­er­nance had come un­der siege from the gov­ern­ment.

“Regimes have come and gone but this is the first time that I see the pil­lars of gov­er­nance un­der such siege,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

“The pil­lars of this gov­ern­ment are all un­der at­tack, all the se­cu­rity agen­cies are be­ing headed by politi­cians.

“As far as this gov­ern­ment is con­cerned, one can only be ap­pointed po­lice com­mis­sioner if they af­fil­i­ate with the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC). The Di­rec­tor of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ser­vices is only in that po­si­tion be­cause he con­tested the elec­tions un­der the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) ban­ner.

“How then, can we de­politi­cise the se­cu­rity agen­cies when this gov­ern­ment is mak­ing such ap­point­ments? (The NSS di­rec­tor Pheello) Ralenkoane is a politi­cian, oth­er­wise he wouldn’t have con­tested in the past elec­tions.”

Dr Mo­sisili said the fact that Chief Jus­tice Nthomeng Ma­jara had been asked to ‘show cause’ why she may not be im­peached “was a clear in­di­ca­tion that the ju­di­ciary is un­der at­tack”.

Jus­tice Ma­jara’s ten­ure at the helm of the ju­di­ciary hangs in the bal­ance after she was re­cently served with a let­ter ask­ing her to ‘show cause’ why she should not be im­peached.

A source close to the mat­ter, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said sev­eral is­sues were raised in the ‘show cause’ let­ter.

“The is­sues are ba­si­cally about her con­duct. Top of the list is the is­sue of the M27 000 hous­ing al­lowance she gave her­self al­though ac­cord­ing to the law she is en­ti­tled to M4000,” the source said.

While se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in­clud­ing the gov­ern­ment sec­re­tary, Moahloli Mphaka and the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices, Mokhele Mo­let­sane were eva­sive on the con­tents of the let­ter, Mr Mo­let­sane how­ever, con­ceded that the gov­ern­ment ex­pected Jus­tice Ma­jara to re­spond within seven days of re­ceiv­ing the let­ter.

He re­fused to say when the let­ter had been served on the chief jus­tice and when the seven days would be up.

Dr Mo­sisili also crit­i­cised the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to in­clude leg­is­la­tors from the op­po­si­tion and govern­ing par­ties among the list of Ba­sotho who will lease 300 ve­hi­cles to the gov­ern­ment, say­ing this amounted to cor­rup­tion.

“They (the govern­ing par­ties) said they loathe cor­rup­tion but I have never seen such cor­rup­tion as this that ex­ists in this gov­ern­ment. They made a noise over the fleet ten­der when we were still in gov­ern­ment and to­day they are the ones fight­ing over the very ten­der and they even want leg­is­la­tors to lease their cars to the gov­ern­ment. This is cor­rup­tion,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

He also tore into Dr Tha­bane for hir­ing Xie Yan, a Le­sotho cit­i­zen of Chi­nese ori­gin as head of spe­cial projects and trade ad­viser.

“This (Dr Tha­bane) is the man who in the past gave the Gup­tas our diplo- matic pass­ports when they had never even set foot in our coun­try and to­day he has ap­pointed a no­to­ri­ous Chi­nese na­tional as ad­vi­sor in his of­fice. This is only be­cause birds of the same feather flock to­gether.”

Dr Mo­sisili said they were still wait­ing for the gov­ern­ment to set up com­mis­sions of in­quiry into the killing of Dr Tha­bane’s for­mer wife Lipolelo Tha­bane and the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­man­der Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Khoan­tle Motšo­motšo.

“We set up an in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the as­sas­si­na­tion of Lt-gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao be­cause we felt that his death was one too many and yet this gov­ern­ment has failed to set up a com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the other deaths,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

Lt-gen Ma­hao was fa­tally shot by his erst­while LDF col­leagues on 25 June 2015 just out­side Maseru. The LDF claimed Lt-gen Ma­hao had re­sisted ar­rest for al­legedly lead­ing a mutiny when he was killed but that claim was dis­missed as a hoax by a re­gional in­quiry into his death.

Lt-gen Ma­hao’s fam­ily ac­cused the army of killing him in cold blood bas­ing on the ac­count of his neph­ews who were with him dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

At the be­hest of Dr Mo­sisili, SADC ap­pointed a 10-mem­ber com­mis­sion of in­quiry headed by re­tired Botswana judge Mphaphi Phumaphi which con­ducted its in­ves­ti­ga­tions from 31 Au­gust and 23 Oc­to­ber 2015. The com­mis­sion sub­se­quently rec­om­mended that the-then gov­ern­ment should in­ves­ti­gate the killing of Lt-gen Ma­hao and pros­e­cute those found to be re­spon­si­ble. It also rec­om­mended a raft of con­sti­tu­tional, se­cu­rity sec­tor, gov­er­nance, pub­lic ser­vice and me­dia re­forms to en­sure sta­bil­ity in Le­sotho.

But on Sun­day, Dr Mo­sisili ac­cused SADC of “hi­jack­ing” the Phumaphi com­mis­sion.

“That was our com­mis­sion. In Le­sotho the Prime Min­is­ter is the one who has pow­ers to set up a com­mis­sion and we had only asked SADC to help us with experts be­cause we wanted it to be as trans­par­ent and in­de­pen­dent as pos­si­ble,” Dr Mo­sisili said.

He how­ever, blamed the ad­vent of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment on his own party’s fail­ure to unite and mo­bilise for vic­tory in the 3 June 2017 snap na- tional elec­tions. “To­day we are en­dur­ing this mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion be­cause you failed to lis­ten to your lead­er­ship in the past elec­tions. You should stop fight­ing amongst your­selves and be united. “I want them to gov­ern us so we can feel the pinch and we can cor­rect our ways next time. They don’t even need us to top­ple them as they are al­ready fight­ing among them­selves. I there­fore urge you all to go to your con­stituen­cies and put our party in or­der,” Dr Mo­sisili said. His al­le­ga­tions were how­ever, re­futed by the gov­ern­ment spokesper­son Nthak­eng Selinyane. Mr Selinyane said it was Dr Mo­sisili who re­quested the SADC com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the as­sas­si­na­tion of LtGen Ma­hao but ended up fight­ing and do­ing “ev­ery­thing to frus­trate and bully the com­mis­sion”. “After (the com­mis­sion made its find­ings) that he (Dr Mo­sisili) wrote a long re­port to cri­tique, dis­par­age and dis­miss that re­port,” Mr Selinyane said. Mr Selinyane also said the ap­point­ment of Mr Xie was above board. “His is one of the many coter­mi­nous ap­point­ments which the Prime Min­is­ter can make be­cause they run con­cur­rently with the ten­ure of the PM. Any­one who is ap­pointed is open to pub­lic scru­tiny, which is ex­actly what Ntate Mo­sisili is do­ing” Mr Selinyane said. He also said “the gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of Ms Tha­bane”.

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