Coalition partners sting Thabane

Coalition partners sting Thabane

MASERU -AS Prime Minister Thomas Thabane tussled with Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli his three coalition were plotting to push him off the cliff.
Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki, Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane and Labour Minister Keketso Rantšo wrote a scathing letter to the King, complaining about Thaban’s rule.
The letter, which Moleleki has strenuously disowned, was written on January 9.
It came a few days after Thabane had told the trio that he intends to step down.

He was also battling to remove Commissioner Molibeli over a plethora of allegations that some saw as a ruse to push out the commissioner. Some saw it as revenge because a few weeks earlier the commissioner had asked Thabane to explain who used his phone number to call someone who was at the murder scene of his wife Lipolelo Thabane.
Who instigated the letter remains unknown but thepost understands that it was written late night on January 9 and signed in the small hours of the following day.
At around 6:30am, some five hours after signing, the leaders delivered the letter to the King at his home in Matsieng.
Several sources told thepost that the partners were desperate to deliver the letter before Thabane mets the King on the same day. Thabane was scheduled to meet the King at 8 am the same day to advise him to fire Commissioner Holomo Molibeli.

“It was a preemptive move to make sure the prime minister steps down as he had promised them a few days earlier,” said a source privy to the issue.
In the letter, the partners told the King that there had been a series of events that “portray a state of Constitutional crisis that are perceived to be either orchestrated, perpetrated or committed” by Thabane or “rather his accomplices”. They said they believe the events violated the constitution.
The partners accused Thabane of trying to push out Commissioner Molibeli to forestall investigations into Lipolelo Thabane’s murder.
The suspension, the leaders said, was Thabane’s way of retaliating against the commissioner.

They claimed that on January 7 the Government Secretary Moahloli Mphaka instructed the Army Commander Mojalefa Letsoela to assassinate Commissioner Molibeli for refusing to leave office.
thepost has been told that Moleleki, Maseribane and Rantšo were in that meeting at the Prime Minister‘s office when Mphaka allegedly gave the instructions.
The partners also complained that Thabane had allowed the unilateral change of Lesotho’s foreign policy.
They were referring to Lesotho’s controversial decision to withdraw support for Western Saharawi in its battle for independence from Morocco. They accused Thabane of remaining silent and failing to inform Cabinet when Foreign Affairs Minister Lesego Makgothi changed the policy.

Makgothi, the leaders said, has been unapologetic and emphatic in his decision to change a policy that has stood since independence.
“Lesotho is red flagged as a result. The SADC Region and the AU (African Union) as well as the international world are outraged at this predicament.”
The partners also alleged that Thabane allowed his wife to meddle in government business by summoning ministers and senior government officials to the State House to give them illegal instructions.

The letter could be seen as an indication of fractures within the coalition government.
It is unprecedented both in its nature and tone. It comes at a time when Thabane is facing relentless pressure to step down in the wake of the criminal investigations against his wife.
His popularity has sagged due to controversial decisions, a stagnant economy and his wife’s perceived interference in government business.
His opponents within the All Basotho Convention gained an upper hand when they won the national executive committee elections against his preferred candidates.
Subsequent court rulings have cemented their positions, forcing Thabane to live with a party leadership he fought and a deputy leader, Professor Nqosa Mahao, he once publicly derided as a rag.

Staff Reporter

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