PS, Minister clash

PS, Minister clash

MASERU – A power struggle between Trade Minister Tefo Mapesela and his Principal Secretary Thebe Mokoatle reached new heights yesterday when it turned into a street show. The two men, both from the All Basotho Convention (ABC), have been quarreling over administrative issues for months.

But until yesterday morning they had kept their squabbles behind closed doors. Minister Mapesela said for months he has been telling Mokoatle to stop using the ministry’s Toyota Prado because it is a fuel guzzler but the PS has persistently defied him.
Principal Secretaries use Toyota Lexus sedans.

Mapesela said he recently ordered security guards to stop anyone from driving the vehicle out of the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) Centre, where the ministry’s head office is.
The drama started when the PS was stopped by the guards as he drove out. When the guard blocked the car Mokoatle simply left the car at the gate, blocking traffic in and out of the office complex.

The minister too could not drive out of the complex. Infuriated, Mapesela went on radio to complain about the PS’s action.
The minister told thepost that Mokoatle was not dealing with some serious administrative issues. He said sometimes the PS does not report to him.
To demonstrate how their relationship had soured, Mapesela said Mokoatle refused to lend him his car when he went to Malealea with the First Lady to hand over a donation on Monday.

He also said Mokoatle has also ignored his instruction to act against some staff members in the ministry who have misused funds. The minister said he once left office to go to Qacha’s Neck without telling him.

Mapesela said he has played his role as the minister and he is now looking at the Government Secretary to take action against the principal secretary.
Several attempts to call Mokoatle were not successful. His phone went unanswered for about 16 times.

Majara Molupe

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