Mosisili’s son loses court battle

Mosisili’s son loses court battle

MASERU – THE son of former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, Rethabile, lost his bid to retain his position as Lesotho’s chief delegate at the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission yesterday. High Court judge Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi yesterday dismissed with costs an application in which Mosisili was challenging his dismissal from the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission. Justice Monaphathi promised to give reasons for his judgment within 10 days.

Mosisili filed an urgent application in August after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fired him. Mosisili wanted the court to review and set aside the letter of recall issued by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water on July 24, 2017 as null and void and of no force and effect in law.

He also wanted the principal secretary for the Ministry of Water Affairs, the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission and the Public Service Commission to tell the court why his position as LHWC’s Chief Delegate shall not remain vacant pending finalisation of his application.
The letter, written on July 24, informed him that despite several attempts to get his secondment approved, the Public Service Commission had still not approved it.

The letter further said “as a result of non-approval, government has therefore found it befitting to recall you back to your substantive position as Deputy Principal Secretary” of the Ministry of Water. In his affidavit, Mosisili told Justice Monaphathi that the letter recalling him was not procedural and constituted an infringement of his right to a fair hearing.

He reasoned that it was “bound to be reviewed and set aside” because failure by the Water Affairs Principal Secretary to afford him “adequate time to process that letter, is evidence of irrationality and breach of the principle of legality”. The letter recalled him from the commission with immediate effect. Mosisili was contracted as Lesotho’s chief delegate to the commission in March, two months before the elections that ousted his father and replaced him with Thabane.

The Thabane administration recalled him within two months after coming to power. “I will be financially disadvantaged because I earn more as Chief Delegate and I stand to enhance my experience whilst occupying the position for the betterment of my future through the nature of work I am engaged with,” Mosisili said in the affidavit. Apart from a salary of more than M100 000 a month, Mosisili lost other benefits that include a cell phone and call units to the maximum of M6 000 per month.

Other benefits included medical and industrial injuries insurance for him, his wife and their minor children who are under 18 years.
He also loses an official vehicle which he was entitled to use at all times during the active period of his contract, together with all the running and maintenance costs.

“This is a political decision triggered by change of government,” he said. “To expect me to pack and leave on the date of the letter is rather irrational as that is physically impossible and impacts on my reputation,” he said. “It is trite that in any workplace, things like handing over and submission of final reports should be systematically undertaken to ensure smooth progress of the work.” Mosisili complained that the government ignored a letter he wrote in response to the one recalling him with immediate effect.

Staff Reporter

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