Thabane warns Mosisili

Thabane warns Mosisili

Staff Reporter

MASERU – FORMER Prime Minister Thomas Thabane says Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili should change his ways or risk further destroying the country.

In a strongly-worded letter this week Thabane accused Mosisili of ignoring the plight of Basotho by refusing implement SADC’s recommendations and ignoring calls from the international community to restore political stability.

He said Lesotho has lost the support of development partners because the government continues to dither on implementing the reforms.

Thabane said it is mind-boggling that Mosisili’s government is risking over 30 000 direct and indirect jobs associated with Lesotho’s eligibility under AGOA “because of your need to protect criminals”.

“The United States government has been clear that continued eligibility depends on Lesotho’s commitment to the rule of law. That you are choosing the path of lawlessness and injustice against your obligation to protect Basotho, lift them from poverty, retain the few jobs they already have, restore the conditions for the economy to thrive, and to rule justly is hard to any sensible people to comprehend,” he said.

“I implore you, Sir, to change your ways and not continue to risk our lives.”

On the Amnesty Bill, Thabane said Mosisili’s “proposal of general amnesty is sinister”.

Thabane told Mosisili in the letter that “you showed your hand when you first announced the notion of general amnesty”.

“We rejected it outright, contending that you can never equate victims to perpetrators of serious crimes,” Thabane said in the letter.

“The draft amnesty bill (attached here for ease of reference) has now revealed the extent of the criminal enterprise that has sustained and backed your return to power,” he said.

Thabane said it is preposterous to ask Basotho “to accept their suffering without the criminals on your side expressing remorse for what they have done”.

“You should not be surprised therefore that we once again reject this horrendous idea of general amnesty. Our message is clear: implement the long overdue SADC decisions as they are and jettison the idea of general amnesty.”

Thabane called on Mosisili to fire the army boss Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, adding that “this action is long overdue and inaction has continued to taint the reputation of the LDF in the eyes of Basotho”.

He also called on Mosisili to suspend all officers implicated in cases of murder, attempted murder and treason and undertake criminal investigations in line with international best practices.

“Your government’s proposal to indemnify members of the LDF and civilians going as far back as 2007 implies that you are privy to other personalities that are guilty of serious crimes,” Thabane said in the letter.

“As it is illegal to harbour suspected criminals, I recommend that your government moves speedily to bring these other suspects to account for their crimes,” he said.

“Indeed, it is astounding that you have been silent for this long with full knowledge of suspects of serious crimes which you now seek amnesty for.”

Thabane said that Mosisili is prepared to absolve criminals going back to 2007 “confirms our contention that the soldiers held at Maseru Maximum Security Prison are held hostage primarily for the purpose absolving criminals whose crimes you have known about for a long time”.

“Indeed, it is our further contention that their incarceration was premeditated by your government to create a situation where they would finally be exchanged for an ill-conceived notion of general amnesty,” he said.

“It is difficult for us to avoid the thought that the incarceration of innocent people is tantamount to torture.”

He urged Mosisili to vigorously pursue the criminal investigations of the slain army boss Maaparankoe Mahao and empower the police accordingly.

“Your decision to deploy a joint Police-Army unit to investigate this death is absurd – junior soldiers cannot investigate their superiors and senior politicians,” he said.

“In fact, we consider this to be the militarisation of the police service.”

Thabane also called on Mosisili to facilitate amnesty for the soldiers held in jail and ensure the safe return of all soldiers who have fled Lesotho fearing for their lives.

“Their continued incarceration is therefore malicious and is entirely for negotiating an ill-conceived amnesty for the criminal suspects that have helped you win back power,” Thabane said.

The letter was copied to the President of Tanzania, King of Swaziland, Deputy President of South Africa and the SADC Executive Secretary.

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