‘Investigate John Xie

‘Investigate John Xie

MASERU-PARLIAMENT has been asked to investigate John Xie’s role in the government to assess if he did not use his proximity to power to win lucrative government tenders.

The Movement for Economic Change (MEC) deputy leader, Tšepang Tšita-Mosena, filed the motion in Parliament last week before the House adjourned for the winter break.

Xie, a Mosotho of Chinese origin, hogged the headlines in the last two years amid allegations that he was exerting his massive influence in the government to allocate tenders to his Chinese friends and his companies.
He was appointed an economic adviser to former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in 2017.

Tšita-Mosena told thepost on Tuesday that she wants Parliament to investigate “if there is an element of state capture in John’s dealings with the government”.

“We have to find it out so that we influence policies not to allow people like John to get into such offices.”
She said after the inquiry they will be able to close any loopholes that promote state capture.

Tšita-Mosena said she had taken the matter to Parliament’s business committee to deliberate on the matter.
She said their role as MPs is to come up with laws that will benefit Basotho and not the elites.

She said her party had serious concerns after Thabane appointed Xie as his economic adviser.
“Our pillar policy is Mosotho and Lesotho first,” she said.
“Basotho were competent for the same position.”

She said as much as Xie is a naturalised Mosotho his background did not make him suitable for the position of adviser to the Prime Minister.
“Ever since John entered the office his name had been coming up on many issues like corruption and tender battles,” she said.

She said Parliament must investigate Xie to find the extent to which he had captured the state.
Tšita-Mosena said Xie’s name kept popping up in investigations of a tender scandal to supply park homes to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
She also recalled that some Basotho were complaining that he had access to their bank accounts.

She said Parliament must leave no stone unturned in their bid to seek the truth.
Tšita-Mosena said Xie’s name had also popped up in a scandal to upgrade the Mpilo Boulevard.

Former small businesses Minister Chalane Phori allegedly wanted to give the tender to a company that was linked to Xie as a thank-you for helping Thabane during his stay in exile in South Africa.

Tšita-Mosena said they also want Parliament to investigate allegations that Xie had ties with Meraka Lesotho, Lesotho’s only national abattoir.
She said they also want Xie’s links with the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre, which was built by the Chinese and is now housing the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC), investigated.

She said it was reported in local media that Xie had bankrolled several political parties and top government officials. As a result many government ministers feel indebted to him, she said.
“This has to be investigated to completion,” she said.
The MEC was among seven political parties that expressed serious concerns over Xie’s growing influence in government in 2018.

The party said it seemed the “Chinese had captured the government” which was then led by Thabane.

They said the engagement of Xie in high political office by Thabane was tantamount “to putting a rat in the food silo”.
Many Basotho businesses were side-lined and jobs directed to Chinese companies, they argued.
Xie’s phone went unanswered on several occations when called yesterday.

Nkheli Liphoto

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