Councillors want Minister fired

Councillors want Minister fired

MASERU – A GROUP of Maseru district councilors want Local Government Minister Litšoane Litšoane fired.
The council chairman, Mohoalo-Hoalo Jane, told to thepost yesterday that the councillors met last month and resolved to petition Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to boot out Litšoane.
They want the minister replaced by Dr Pontšo Sekatle.
In council minutes seen by this newspaper, the district councillors accused Minister Litšoane of failing to deliver and “avoiding meeting us despite several requests”.

“The council resolves to send a delegation to the Right Honourable Prime Minister to ask him to relieve the Honourable Local Government Minister from his duties and replace him with Dr Pontšo Sekatle,” excerpts from the minutes read.
“Dr Sekatle understands the Ministry of Local Government very much,” the minutes read.
“Things were much better during her time because she had a follow-up of things.”

Sekatle was the Local Government Minister under former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili between 2002 and 2012. Mosisili lost power in 2012.
But when Mosisili was re-elected Prime Minister in 2015, Sekatle also bounced back and served in the same office until that government was toppled in 2017.

Last year, Sekatle however dumped Mosisili’s Democratic Congress and joined Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party.
The councilors said they were failing to fulfil the promises they made to the people because of Litšoane’s bad leadership.
They said services were being provided on the basis of political affiliation.
The district council cited the case of Lilala A07, which is in the Maseru district, in which the ministry skipped a village “merely because its councillor is not in the same camp with the MP”.

The ministry was connecting villages to the water system.
They also complained that roads to access villages were not being repaired or built despite the fact that the council had decided on their budget a long time ago.

Jane told thepost that the road from Hata-Butle to Tloutle in his Manonyane Council in Roma has been neglected for a very long time, even though some funds were allocated for it.
He said they had tried to set up meetings with the minister but he rebuffed their requests.

Jane said one Chinese businessman had been allowed to illegally erect a building in his area but the matter was not addressed because the businessman has “connections in higher offices”.
He also blamed the Chinese businessman of blocking the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) pipes in the area.
“He even blocked the culverts that were intended to channel water,” he said.
He said they were surprised that the senior physical planner had issued a planning permit to the Chinese businessman who did not hesitate to build there.

Jane said they failed to institute a case against the Chinese because he had already been given a permit.
The councillors said they called a meeting with the minister to deal with these matters, which Litšoane rebuffed.
He said the ministry was in the habit of delaying processing payments so that they could deal with the issues of solid waste.

The delays in handling waste matter was turning Roma which has a big university and hospital into an eyesore, he said.
“The money is not even enough to do the job,” Jane said.
Jane said the World Bank is ready to assist in solid waste management but the ministry was failing to cooperate.
Jane said they had tried to invite the minister to the negotiating table but he refused.

Jane said he has known Litšoane over a very long time.
“He used to consult me on political matters. I do not understand why he now finds it hard to talk to me,” he said.
Jane said he suspected Litšoane’s refusal to meet with him was political after he threw his weight behind the Professor Nqosa Mahao camp.

Litšoane is said to be backing Thabane’s group in the fight for the control of the ABC.
“I will not hide that I support him (Mahao),” he said.
Efforts to get comment from Litšoane failed as his phone was not available yesterday.
His office said he was out of the country on official business.

Nkheli Liphoto


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