Minister Phori grilled

Minister Phori grilled

MASERU-SMALL Businesses Minister Chalane Phori has been interrogated by the police over a battery of cases under investigation.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Paseka Mokete confirmed that they questioned Phori but refused to give details because the probe is ongoing.
Phori said the police have questioned him on four occasions in recent weeks.

He said the last interrogation happened in his office after he refused to report to the police station.
“I was with them yesterday and even today they wanted me to go to them but I said I will not go to them, they should come to me,” Phori said.
“It is now the fourth time that I was called by the police,” the minister said.

But on Monday he was questioned about what he said about King Letsie III while during a radio program last Saturday where he was a guest speaker.
During the programme Phori said the constitution gives the Prime Minister the power to make the decision if the King does not accede to his request.
Phori said he stood his ground during the interrogation.

“There is a section in the constitution that supports my argument,” he said.
“I said Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is allowed by the constitution to sign when the King does not.” 

He said the police interrogation lasted 40 minutes.
He said in previous interrogations the police asked about the murder of Lipolelo Thabane, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wife who was gunned down in June 2017.

“I told them I do not know anything about it. I told them I only heard that she had passed away,” Phori said. 
He was also questioned about allegations that he had financed ’Maesaiah Thabane’s stay in South Africa when she skipped the country to avoid arrest for Lipolelo Thabane’s murder. 

“I told them it is true that I gave her some money so that she could come back home,” Phori said.

He was asked why M10 million to pay wool and mohair farmers came from his ministry instead of the Ministry of Agriculture.
He said he told the police that he did not know why the money was paid to his ministry. He asked officials in his ministry who told him that there was a warrant of payment.

Nkheli Liphoto

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