Ousted AG sues Majoro

Ousted AG sues Majoro

MASERU-ATTORNEY General Haae Phoofolo is suing Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro for allegedly usurping King Letsie III’s powers to boot him out of office.

In an urgent application filed in the High Court yesterday, Advocate Phoofolo also said the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party was exerting pressure on Majoro to fire Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase.
Advocate Phoofolo told the High Court that he and Justice Mahase were supposed to have been sacked on September 8.

He wants Majoro’s decision to send him on forced leave reviewed and set aside as unconstitutional.
“The provisions of section 140 of the constitution were not followed,” Advocate Phoofolo argued.

“The Prime Minister has no power to suspend or place me on terminal leave,” he said.
Advocate Phoofolo said the decision to remove him from office in the manner that contravenes the constitution “is a result of the pressure from the colleagues of the Prime Minister from his political party”.
He said the ABC national executive committee is the one pushing Majoro to sack him.

He however said he is “not seeking any remedy against the party”.
“I must indicate that it has been recorded and quoted verbatim from the Lesotho Times newspaper of the 17th September 2020 that the National Executive Committee of ABC met and demanded that Advocate Phoofolo and Acting Chief Justice Mahase be fired on the 8th of September 2020,” he said.

“I know that the ABC NEC was pressing for my removal from office because they were not happy with some of the opinions or advices that I have provided to government because those advices were having the effect of paralysing their political agenda or the issues pertaining to good governance and rule of law.”

Advocate Phoofolo cited his legal opinion against the promulgation of the Constitutional Amendment relating to the creation of a new government and appointment of a new Prime Minister without a vote by MPs.
“I remember distinctly one member of the NEC calling me and criticising me vehemently for my stance,” he said.

Another instance which he said caused immense anger to the NEC was when he opposed an application for the impeachment of Justice Mahase from office.
He said his ground of opposition was that such member did not have locus standi to make such an application.

“No wonder the NEC has lumped the Acting CJ together with myself as possible candidates for removal from our respective offices,” he said.
“It follows that I was removed from office a few days thereafter.”
Advocate Phoofolo said this public record has never been disputed by the Prime Minister or the NEC of the ABC.

“It was not the Prime Minister’s intention to have me “sacked” as the front-page news of the Lesotho Times newspaper report,” he said.
“It will be seen that the Secretary General of ABC is quoted as having said he had recommended the ouster of Adv Phoofolo and ACJ Mahase.”
He said Majoro’s order to send him on terminal leave with immediate effect has an effect of casting stigma on him relating to both his social and personal standing.

He said the acts meted against him bring into question his integrity, reputation and dignity.
“My being “sacked” has attracted media attention and thus my standing as a person before my colleagues in the legal profession and the community,” he said.
“My integrity and dignity is bound to be negatively affected as a result.”

Staff Reporter

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