Mosito says he’s victim of factional fights

Mosito says he’s victim of factional fights

MASERU-LEKHETHO Mosito, who was fired as Defence Minister after a few days on the job, says he is a victim of intense factional fights in the All Basotho Convention (ABC).

Mosito was fired on Monday, barely a week after his appointment.
This followed howls of protests from some senior ABC officials. Leading the campaign to push out Mosito was Agriculture Minister Tefo Mapesela. Mapesela led a delegation of senior party officials who complained about the appointment to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.

Mapesela told the media that Mosito was not fit to be a minister because of his chequered past as an ill-disciplined soldier. In a stinging attack, Mapesela described Mosito as Majoro’s “goat”.
He said he doesn’t care if Majoro fires him as agriculture minister as long as he has removed “his goat” from the cabinet. Those unsavoury remarks were further evidence of the infighting in the ABC.

This week the prime minister appeared to yield to pressure from within his party by firing Mosito.
Mosito said he understood that Majoro was under pressure to dismiss him but he was not bitter.
“I believe that the Prime Minister was forced to release me from work. Majoro had no other option but to fire me,” Mosito said.

“I am not mad or angry at anyone including Majoro because he was under pressure since he appointed me.”
The Likhetlane MP who chairs parliament’s security cluster committee said the dismissal caught him by surprise as he was already getting to understand the ministry.

He said he had already met the commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and the National Security Service (NSS) director general. The dismissal letter arrived as he was preparing to meet the rest of the LDF and NSS staff.
Mosito said the incident has taught him valuable lessons.
“I have learned from the incident that politicians need to hold some issues before publicising them,” he said.

“I have learned that politics need patience or else it will not be easy for the ABC members to sit down and discuss issues at length and reach solutions.”
He said the ABC leadership should learn to hear both sides of a story before making a decision.
He said he believes that Majoro fired him to save the government “which is at the brink of collapse”.

Mosito was fired before he could attend his first cabinet meeting.
His is the shortest stint as a cabinet minister. He becomes the first minister to be fired in just under two weeks.
The about-turn shows the grip that Mapesela and other MPs have on the Prime Minister who has come under relentless pressure over the past few weeks.

With former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s camp baying for his blood, Majoro had to bend backwards to appease the hawks still fighting in his corner.
By firing Mosito, Majoro could have dodged the bullet in the meantime.
Yet the pressure will likely keep mounting as the ABC titters on the brink.
Allegiances are also shifting like quick sand, making Majoro’s position delicate by the day.

Meanwhile, Mosito had filed a defamation lawsuit against Mapesela over allegations he made in an interview with a local radio station.
He is demanding M3 million in damages.
He told thepost that he opted for the legal route because he cannot fight “dirty” like Mapesela.
He said he made the decision after much introspection and consultations with his family, friends and lawyers. Mapesela’s statements, he said, were meant to tarnish his reputation.

“We cannot discuss the issues at length until the courts pronounced themselves. I was even advised by many people not to respond to him or attack him back.”
Mapesela was however dismissive when thepost asked him for his response to the lawsuit.
He said although he is yet to respond to the summonses, he has no plans to retract his statements and pay the damages.

“I have many goats and sheep that Mosito must look after for me so that I pay him that much in return,” Mapesela said.
“If he wants those millions, he must say which animals of mine he will take care of and for how long,” he said.
“A herd boy is paid M1 000 per year therefore Mosito must calculate the months he will be a herd boy for him to see if at the end he will have raised that amount”.
Mapesela is one of the ABC MPs who were instrumental in Majoro’s rise to power.

A combative but brusque character, Mapesela has never been known to shy away from political fights.
He is one of the ministers who took former first lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane head on when she tried to meddle in the ABC and government’s affairs.

Nkheli Liphoto

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