…But Mapesela hits back with venom

…But Mapesela hits back with venom

Maseru-TEFO Mapesela, the Minister of Forestry, has labelled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s coalition partners “disloyal” for writing a cutting letter to the King.
Mapesela said Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki, Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane and Labour Minister Keketso Rantšo should be grateful to the All Basotho Convention (ABC) for helping them get into the government.

He said he was shocked that “people Thabane has carried for long are now stabbing him in the back”.
The letter, Mapesela said, was a clumsy attempt to destroy Thabane.
“They see Thabane’s intention to resign as a weakness they can use to take over,” Mapesela said.
“Now that Thabane has said he will step down they see a chance to gain local and international sympathy.”

He wondered why the partners were writing to the King instead of discussing issues in cabinet.
“Those of us in the Cabinet didn’t know that the partners had issues because they never raised them”.
“Now they are running to the king as if he is a politician. The King did not elect anyone. They are politically defaming the Prime Minister.”
The minister said the partners should “pack their bags and go if they are unhappy with their coalition with the ABC”.
“If they are genuine partners they should start respecting the ABC and the Prime Minister. The people elected the ABC to rule them and it invited those other parties to be partners. They are free to leave the government if they want.”

“We are the majority and we should be respected.”
Mapesela warned the partners to choose their battles carefully because the ABC is capable of fighting back with equal force.
“We can also go to the people and use the same tactics.”
He directed his ire at the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) leader, Keketso Rantšo, whom he described as “the most junior partner who should be grateful to the ABC and Thabane”.
“She came into government through one proportional representation seat but she calls herself a partner.”
“We were merciful to her. The RCL’s total votes nationally are not even equal to what I got as an MP in Mokhotlong”.
“These are the same people who are now stabbing our leader in the back”.

He said Rantšo has no right to talk about the government affairs because she is always spending weeks in Geneva. “How does she know what is happening here when she is always out of the country?”
Mapesela said he was disappointed with Moleleki and Maseribane because he “thought they were loyal partners”. “Look what the BNP (Basotho National Party) youth league is doing now. They want to gain popularity by defaming the ABC and its leader,” he said.

The BNP’s youth league issued a statement calling on the First Lady Maesiah Thabane to subject herself to justice instead of fleeing. It was a subtle dig at Thabane who is seen as protecting ’Maesiah Thabane who is a suspect in the murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane in 2017.
The minister said only Moleleki and his Alliance of Democrats (AD) has been loyal to the ABC because it never “poked its fingers in our affairs.”
Mapesela said the partners should stay out of the ABC’s issues because they have no stake in the party.

“They have nothing to gain from Thabane’s resignation. Instead, they have more to lose. This is the time for them to be loyal.”
“Thabane has never said anything about their spouses yet they think they have a right to say something about his wife.”
“I am saying they are free to look for new partners. We have 52 seats in parliament and we are not worried by small parties.”
Mapesela compared the junior coalition parties to mosquitos.
“We are a big party that should not be concerned by mosquitos. This is the season of mosquitos and small parties should go out there and buzz with them.”

Staff Reporter

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