MP close to tears

MP close to tears

MASERU-AN MP for the Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Thabo Ramatla, nearly broke down in Parliament this week as he narrated how he escaped death by a whisker two weeks ago.

Ramatla told Parliament in an emotional address that he was lucky to be still alive after unidentified gunman shot him a fortnight ago.
He said despite that ordeal, he had not received any words of sympathy from the government or from his colleagues in Parliament.

Ironically, Ramatla is also facing a charge of conspiracy to murder after he was implicated in a plot to assassinate his party leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, and another party member.
He denies the charge.

Ramatla was shot and injured near his fruit and vegetable market in Mafeteng on June 13.
“I am embarrassed that even the office of the Speaker did not know about the incident,” Ramatla said, blaming his party for not informing the Speaker.

“Parliament is the only place for me to table my concerns,” he said in a shaky voice.
Ramatla was suspended from his party duties by the MEC in February last year. His party accused him of bringing the MEC into disrepute after he was implicated in serious crimes.

He told Parliament this week that his party should have informed the Speaker, Sephiri Motanyane, of the incident.
The MEC has three MPs in Parliament who include Ramatla, party leader Mochoboroane, who is now the Minister of Development Planning, and deputy leader Tšepang Tšita-Mosena.

Ramatla said despite being shot and injured, his MEC party had failed to inform the Speaker of Parliament, adding no action had been taken to bring his would-be assassins to book.
He said he was a businessman of note in Mafeteng who has employed over 100 people on a permanent basis.

He said he was shot in broad daylight and his would-be assassins should have been identified and caught. He was shot between 9 and 10am.
Ramatla said not even the Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and his deputy Mathibeli Mokhothu had visited his family after the sad news.

“My shooting is (being) likened to the shooting of a dog despite the fact that I am a prominent person in Lesotho,” he said.
“I wonder how Parliament will take care of the people yet its members do not care about themselves.”

Ramatla said he had since spoken to Police Minister ’Mamoipone Senauoane querying why nothing had been done to investigate his shooting.

“It is my belief that if people do not give me justice, my God will,” he said.
Motanyane said it was unfortunate that the message about the shooting did not reach his office.
He said Parliament sympathises with Ramatla adding what happened to him could happen to every other MP.
“We condemn such issues and time will come where we will get to the root of it,” Motanayane said.

He encouraged Ramatla to remain strong and never lose hope.
Meanwhile, the MP for Malimong, former minister Leshoboro Mohlajoa, condemned Ramatla’s shooting.
He said he too was a victim of gun violence.

Mohlajoa said he is living with nine gunshot wounds that he sustained on June 28, 2011.
He said he was disappointed to learn that he was now being linked with the murder of late All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader, Sello Machakela, who was killed in 2012.

Mohlajoa said he was interrogated by the police for four hours over the Machakela murder.
He said Ramatla should be consoled as he was not the first to sustain gun wounds.

“I have nine wounds and two bullets are still stuck in my body,” he said.
Mohlajoa said instead of being assisted, the police took him for questioning saying he was behind the shooting of Machakela.

“If God still needs you, even 100 bullets will not take your life,” he said.
Ramatla was charged with conspiracy to murder in May last year.
According to court papers seen by thepost, Ramatla allegedly hired some assassins to kill Mochoboroane and another party stalwart Jimmy Ramakoalibane.

Ramakoalibane is a businessman based in Mafeteng.
Ramatla is alleged to have conspired with Mothobi Linake to kill Mochoboroane and Ramakoalibane last year.

The charge sheet says Ramatla incited Linake to kill Mochoboroane and Ramakoalibane on his behalf.
After he was charged, the MEC suspended Ramatla from contesting for the party’s internal executive elections.

Ramatla was also suspected of criminal acts including the hijacking and robbing of a Chinese man of almost M3 million.

Ramatla was also alleged to have leased his car to the government and the action was in violation of the party’s position that no MEC member should be involved in leasing vehicles to the government.
He denies all the charges.

Nkheli Liphoto

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