AD apologises over MP petrol allowances

AD apologises over MP petrol allowances

MASERU-THE Alliance of Democrats (AD) has apologised for its decision to support the controversial M5 000 petrol allowances for MPs.
The party’s MPs were among those who supported the motion when it was presented in parliament last week.

The decision has triggered a public uproar, with complaints that the MPs are living large while the people are struggling.
The allowances are coming at a time when hundreds have lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pleading poverty, the government has not reviewed civil servants’ salaries this year. The Old Age pension remains unchanged. Help to those whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic has been slow to come.

In a press conference yesterday, the AD says it no longer supports the allowances and apologises for endorsing the decision in parliament.
The party’s deputy leader, Professor Ntoi Rapapa, the executive committee “condemned the decision by our Members of Parliament to support the allowances”.
Professor Rapapa, who is a senator, said he will not accept the allowance. Seemingly shifting the blame, Professor Rapapa said the motion was tabled by Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu who is also the leader of the co-ruling Democratic Congress (DC).

“So, we are opposing it,” Professor Rapapa said.
Professor Rapapa said their committee discovered that the M5 000 allowances were meant to buy the MPs’ favour so that they would allow Mokhothu and Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, and their allies to increase their salaries by 10 percent.

He said their committee felt the decision was ill-timed because most people and businesses are still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The MPs, he said, should not behave as if they are the only ones affected by the pandemic.
Professor Rapapa said their leader, Monyane Moleleki, instructed them to launch a motion in parliament today opposing the allowances and asking for a review.

“The government should immediately cancel the ministers’ allowances and the fuel allowances,” he said.
Thuso Litjobo, the AD’s spokesman who was quite vocal in supporting the allowances, also said he was apologising “unreservedly”.
He was one of the MPs who ganged up against the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, the only dissenting voice in the House.

“We are sorry to Basotho for wronging you to support this trick of M5 000 fuel allowance,” he said.
“They nearly ran circles around us”.

Nkheli Liphoto

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