‘We’ll not rest until Mosisili is out’

‘We’ll not rest until Mosisili is out’

MASERU – ORGANISERS of a protest march say they will not rest until Parliament passes a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
The Clerk of Parliament, Fine Maema, last week announced that Parliament will be reopened on February 24.

Basotho National Party (BNP) spokesman, Machesetsa Mofomobe, told thepost they are going ahead with plans to march in Maseru until the Mosisili-led government falls.
“Until Parliament is opened and the motion of no-confidence is filed and passed we will never rest,” Mofomobe said. Parliament was adjourned indefinitely last November in a move that infuriated opposition MPs who were plotting to pass a no-confidence vote against Mosisili and his government. Police Minister Phallang Monare last week said he had rejected an appeal by the protest organisers fearing violence in Maseru.

Mofomobe recently told a rally in Maputsoe that the protesters would not leave Maseru until their demands to reopen Parliament were met. Those words came back to bite Mofomobe after Monare said he agreed with Assistant Commissioner of Police Motlatsi Mapola who refused to sanction the demonstration citing security concerns. Monare and the police say the protest march could trigger chaos in Maseru similar to the 1998 riots when BNP protestors refused to leave the Royal Palace gate demanding King Letsie III to dissolve Parliament.

But the protest organisers are not taking the blow lying down. Last Friday, the opposition supporters said they will employ a combination of legal, diplomatic and robust political measures to push Mosisili’s government out of power. A youth leader with the Alliance of Democrats (AD), Thuso Litjobo, declined to reveal the specifics of the measures saying doing so “would expose their plans to their enemies”. Mofomobe however said they want to involve different Basotho associations and students as stakeholders “in this quest to legally topple the government”.

He said they were looking as far as writing to the African Union (AU) and the SADC letting them know that Mosisili and his government have no legitimacy and must step down.
Litjobo and Mofomobe said “this government cannot be trusted” and therefore it is imperative to continue with their strategies to stage the protest despite a statement by Maema that Parliament would be reopened February 24. “We are dealing with a very untrustworthy regime. Today they will say Parliament will open and tomorrow they will have deviated from that promise. They are trying to play games,” Mofomobe said.

“We want the world to see the kind of man Pakalitha Mosisili is, he cannot be trusted. Remember when he said would not take the SADC report, but eventually did. He said the commission recommendations were not binding, but later on started implementing them when he felt the pressure.”
The organisers say they have resolved to postpone the march to a future date because the police have been frustrating their attempts to obtain a permit since January 4.
“In fact, it has become obvious to us that all along the intention of the police and their minister was to delay, frustrate or filibuster any attempts to march on the 22nd January 2017,” their statement reads.

“Over the 15 days we have shared with the nation the frivolous and mischievous reasons being advanced by (the government) in this regard.”
Mofomobe said they are working with their lawyers towards filing an urgent application at the High Court seeking an order from the court to overturn the decisions of the police and its minister and seek an alternative date.

Asked for comment, Prime Minister’s spokesperson Motumi Ralejoe said even though he is not in good position to comment in this regard, he would however wish to say that in his experience as a member of parliament, when the house has set a date for its opening, it usually  opens on that day. “I can advice that they leave the parliament to do its job, and it not wise to pre-empt that the house will not open even before that day has arrived.” He says.

Leisa Leisanyane

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