Mokhosi grilled over MP’s security

Mokhosi grilled over MP’s security

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THE Basotho National Party (BNP) deputy leader Joang Molapo wants Defence Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi to explain why an estranged party official is being guarded by the army.

Lesojane Leuta, who is the BNP secretary general, last month attended the women’s league conference while being guarded by members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).

Leuta, who has been at war with his own party since the run-up to last year’s parliamentary election when they fought over compensatory parliamentary seats, is said to have attended the conference “under military guard where numerous persons present at the event bore witness to this”.

So, Molapo who was present at the conference and claims to have seen Leuta under the military guard, wanted Mokhosi to explain in parliament the criteria used to evaluate the threat against Leuta“in light of the failure to provide security for, among others, the late Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao”.

He also wanted Mokhosi to explain how Leuta was provided with the army security when the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane, BNP leader Thesele ’Maseribane and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL)’s Keketso Rantšo “who are all outside the country because of threats against them” were not afforded the same security.

Molapo wanted reasons why the army was being used to provide security to Leuta “when the matter on the surface appears to be a police matter”.

Mokhosi said although now there is no security from either the army or the police for Leuta, “as a Member of Parliament, just like all other MPs, deserves to be provided with security whenever he believes his life is threatened”.

Mokhosi said MPs who feel threatened should report the threats to the police or the army who will satisfy themselves that there is such a threat and then they will be afforded the security.

“Honourable Lesojane Leuta has a right to be afforded security if he has a problem,” Mokhosi said.

“The government should not take threats to Honourable Leuta’s life for granted,” he said.

He reminded Parliament that the ABC deputy leader Sello Machakela and the BNP deputy leader Bereng Sekhonyana were murdered “in suspicious ways”.

Both Machakela and Sekhonyana were gunned down when they entered their respective homes, Machakela when he was about to enter his house while Sekhonyana was at his gate.

Mokhosi said both men were MPs when they were killed.

He also recalled that in the last parliament two MPs fled the country saying their lives were under threat and when they came back they defected from their party.

The MPs were the current Small Businesses Development Minister Thabiso Litšiba and the leader of the newly formed Progressive Democrats Party, Mophato Monyake.

The two defected from the ABC which at the time was leading a tripartite coalition government.

As for the non-provision of security to Mahao, Mokhosi said he was not an MP and also that “he had not reported threats on his life to the police”.

About 10 months before he was killed by soldiers in an operation the army says was meant to arrest him, Mahao and his wife narrowly escaped death when the army attacked his house in Koalabata.

As for issues involving security for Thabane, ’Maseribane and Rantšo Mokhosi said “they had not reported their suspicions to the security services”.

He said Molapo as a leader in the negotiations between the three exiled leaders and the government to facilitate their return to Lesotho he “knows that the government has pledged to provide them with police security immediately upon their return”.

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