Metsing, Thabane bury hatchet

Metsing, Thabane bury hatchet

MASERU – Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, says he has buried the hatchet against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
Metsing and Thabane had a spectacular fall-out in 2014 when Metsing was deputy premier. The thaw in relations would mark a new era in their relationship that had been marked by acrimony.

Metsing told a party rally in Koro-Koro constituency last Sunday that he used to hate Thabane with a passion but all that changed after the two met at State House recently.
He said the two leaders reached common ground on a number of issues that have now seen them smoke the peace pipe.
Metsing said it was no secret that Thabane used to hate him as well and blamed him for the collapse of Lesotho’s first coalition government in 2015.
He said he told Thabane during their talks that the two leaders needed to adopt a collaborative approach if they are to resolve Lesotho’s worsening political and economic problems.
“This was the first time that we held talks with him since we had conflicts in 2014,” Metsing said.

Metsing’s biggest grievance during that coalition government was that Thabane was acting unilaterally as Prime Minister and never consulted him when he was making key decisions.
Metsing then walked out of the deal and teamed up with Thabane’s nemesis, Pakalitha Mosisili who was leading the opposition Democratic Congress (DC) and five other smaller parties.

But when Thabane won the 2017 snap elections, he went for Metsing and his deputy Tšeliso Mokhosi accusing the two of sponsoring a reign of terror through their “control” of the army during their tenure.
Mokhosi was brutally tortured in police custody. He was also charged with the murder of a junior police officer, a charge he denies.

Metsing’s announcement last weekend that he had buried the hatchet against Thabane therefore comes as a major surprise.
Metsing’s critics accuse him of throwing a lifeline to Thabane who is facing a motion of no-confidence in parliament.
The LCD leader was at pains to justify his new relationship with Thabane at the rally.
He said he had also met other political leaders in Lesotho before he met Thabane but those meetings never raised eyebrows.

Speaking about his much touted Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Metsing said Thabane agreed that “Lesotho is in dire need of talks” to get the country out of the mire.
“We both flashed back to the hatred he had against me that also made me to hate him,” he said.
Because of the talks, Metsing said two exiled security agents returned home last week.

The two former exiled agents are police’s Senior Superintendent Lebohang Setsomi and Assistant Superintendent Bereng Ramahetlane from the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS).
Metsing said SADC had resolved that all of Lesotho’s exiles currently in South Africa should return home.
“Some people will say two is not a (big) number, some even wanted to say they should refuse to come back. How can you say someone should not come and see their children?” he said.

Metsing said the majority of government supporters want peace.
He once again appealed to the government to release on bail detained former army commander Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli and other detained soldiers arguing the soldiers are innocent until they have been proved guilty by a competent court of law.
“Those soldiers should be released if the country advocates for patriotism,” he said.

He said there are some soldiers facing similar charges who have returned to work while others were arrested.
“We are not saying we will do the same when we get into power,” Metsing said.
He said he is happy that the government has agreed to the TRC proposal.
He said some Basotho say a TRC is expensive.
“Is it more expensive than bloodshed?” he said.

Metsing said they believe the TRC will end the politically-driven killings in Lesotho.
He said the TRC will also help eradicate poverty, unemployment and enhance health as people will focus on more important issues.
Metsing said the “congress people” often refer to what they say were the atrocities committed by the Basotho National Party-led government in the 1970s.

He said many were killed while others fled the country.
The BNP however refutes that narrative arguing the government was dealing with violent acts of terror by the BCP.
He said it is because of these things and may other incidents that Lesotho needs to be healed through a TRC.

Nkheli Liphoto


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