‘Metsing on hit-list’

‘Metsing on hit-list’

MASERU – THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) says its leader,Mothetjoa Metsing, should have state security because he is marked for death as he appears on a list of people targeted for assassination.
Metsing’s deputy Tšeliso Mokhosi told a press conference on Tuesday that the LCD leader is second on the “hit list” he alleged was used to kill Lipolelo Thabane, Prime Minister Tom Thababe’s wife, in June.

Lipolelo was shot dead as she drove into her gate in Ha-Masana, some 20km south of Maseru. Police are still investigating her murder.
Mokhosi said the government’s refusal to grant Metsing state security as a former deputy prime minister is “a plan to make his assassination a success, as he appeared second in the hit list”.

He said denying Metsing state security “paves a way to his assassination”.
The Mahobong MP is in a fight with the new government after it refused to give him his benefits as a former prime minister.
He insists that he is entitled to a chauffeur-driven government vehicle, free medical treatment, diplomatic passport as well as free telephone, water and electricity.

The government however argues that Metsing does not qualify for the benefits because he did not spend the required 36 consecutive months in office.
Mokhosi said apart from denying Metsing his benefits the government is now harassing him.
“It is obvious the government plans to continue embarrassing and violating our leader, after being summoned by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO)”.

“The way this issue has been handled compels us to take legal action and to seek legal advice from both local and international experts,” Mokhosi said.
The party also complained that Metsing has not been receiving his salary for about two months since the collapse of the past government.
“He also got no security in his home but he served 60 months under the two governments,” Mokhosi said.
The LCD believes Metsing is no different from Prime Minister Thomas Thabane whom they said enjoyed his pension benefits as a former prime minister while he was in exile in South Africa.

Mokhosi said they tried to give the government a chance to deal with this matter hence “you don’t see us engaging on strikes, that’s because we want a peaceful country.” Communications Minister Joang Molapo said the allegations that Metsing is on the hit list “are ridiculous and stupid”.
“This government is not of blood or killings, we don’t know about the hit list,” Molapo said.

“What happened to ’Mè Lipolelo is a tragedy and terrible thing. The government has no affiliation with such (LCD claims).”
“Metsing is a citizen of Lesotho and deserves protection if he has been threatened.”

Molapo said there are “so many Basotho walking freely without security. So, Metsing should not be granted security when he does not deserve it”.
“We wish prosperous and long life for Metsing. What we could urge him to do is to take legal action. He can even go to SADC to seek help or seek protection from police,” he said. Police spokesman Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said he was not aware of the claims that Metsing is on a hit list.

Zanele Hlongwane

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