Thabane is the newly formed Movement for Economic Change, led by the youngest of the four players in the race, Selibe Mochoboroane (39).
“What a lot of Basotho don’t know is that in celebrating a win for Thabane, who has unleashed a lot of resources for the campaign, they will ultimately be celebrating a win for the Guptas. They are funding him with his election campaign,” said a senior diplomat.
Thabane had gazetted a notice that the Guptas were entitled to diplomatic passports as his special advisers, which came after he amended legislation in 2014, apparently to accommodate his friends.
However, the passports were revoked and confiscated by the foreign affairs ministry right after Thabane lost the 2015 elections.
It’s understood that part of the plan for the coalition government under Mosisili was to end the Guptas’ hold on Lesotho.
Experts have predicted that another fractious coalition government unlikely to tackle the mountain kingdom’s dire levels of HIV/Aids and unemployment would result from Saturday’s snap election.
“A coalition is the most likely outcome, but it is unlikely to be a successful one,” Charles Fogelman, a specialist on Lesotho politics at the University of Illinois, told AFP.
“Both of the previous coalitions have collapsed under the weight of succession and power battles, and it is hard to imagine future coalitions not doing the same,” he added.
Thabane told the media that he was open to a coalition, saying it was the way to go “because anyone outside will burn that house down”. He vowed that he wanted to make Lesotho “a beacon of hope” before he retires.
Samonyane Ntsekele, Thabane’s spokesperson, did not respond to questions sent on Friday about campaign funding.
HIGH HOPES Thomas Motsoahae ‘Tom’ Thabane, former prime minister of Lesotho, who cast his vote in Abia village in Makhoakhoeng, said he was open to a coalition
MAKING A CHOICE Basotho voters made their way to the polls to decide who will be the next leader of the mountain kingdom