Maseru mayor kicked out

Maseru mayor kicked out

MASERU – MASERU Mayor, Mpho Moloi, was yesterday booted out of office after she lost a vote-of-no-confidence in council.
Chief Hlathe Majara of Khubetsoana was immediately elected the new mayor in a development that is seen as an extension of the squabbles within the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) between Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his deputy Professor Nqosa Mahao.

Moloi had a nasty fallout with Local Government Minister Litšoane Litšoane over the running of the council earlier this year.
Litšoane has thrown his weight behind the Thabane faction while Moloi is in Professor Mahao’s camp.
Moloi’s ouster means the Thabane camp has now tightened its grip on the affairs of the Maseru City Council (MCC).
Whoever controls the council will likely have a huge say in the allocation of resources within the council, particularly land.

With Maseru fast running of prime land, there is a stampede to grab the little precious spots that are still available.
The MCC also runs some multi-million projects that can be a source of revenue and kickbacks.
Although Moloi was accused of corruption she has insisted she was being pushed out for refusing to bend the rules in the award of contracts for the M350 million Mpilo boulevard project.
Chief Majara was appointed a councilor by fellow chiefs within Maseru to represent their interests in council.

Councillors who pushed the no-confidence vote complained that Moloi had stormed out of Litšoane’s office during a meeting sometime last month.
Moloi however rejected the charge saying there was a standing agreement among a number of councillors to walk out on Litšoane if the minister uttered statements they did not agree with.
She said she was surprised that she was the only one who walked out and felt betrayed.

She also said she was surprised that some of the councillors had now turned against her and supported her ouster.
Litšoane had accused the councillors of misusing funds. He has already set up an investigation team to probe Moloi’s alleged corruption.
Another complaint by the councillors against Moloi was that she addressed a political rally where she talked about her fights with the minister.
Moloi’s response was that she was entitled to talk to her Maseru No. 31 constituency about the issues because they deserved to know, especially because Litšoane himself had gone public over the issue.
Moloi declined to comment when thepost approached her yesterday saying the issue is in the hands of the courts.

On August 30, Moloi had survived another no-confidence vote on a technicality. The councillors then resolved to postpone the issue to yesterday to give her time to prepare her defence.
Speaking after his election, Chief Majara said his appointment came “as a surprise because I did not contest the position”.
Chief Majara said the council needs help from the minister and is looking forward to get advice from him and other stakeholders.

“Every person has their weaknesses. I am a chief and I also need to be advised,” Chief Majara said in his vote of thanks.
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Khothatso Tšooana, said they “want to see the new mayor restoring the good image of the office”.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Kotiti Diholo, said Chief Majara should know that he is now the Mayor of the entire city and not just part of political parties.
Litšoane told Chief Majara to “do this work without conflicts and problems”.

Nkheli Liphoto


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