Thabane courts Mochoboroane

Thabane courts Mochoboroane

MASERU – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane could be trying to entice Movement for Economic Change (MEC) leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, into the coalition government.
thepost can reveal that Thabane recently had a closed-door meeting with Mochoboroane allegedly to sound him out on a possible political deal.
Thabane confirmed the meeting this week but was hazy on the agenda and the details.

Thabane confirmed the meeting this week but was hazy on the agenda and the details. “I wanted him to tell me his future plans about this country,” Thabane said.
The Prime Minister was however quick to deny the rife speculation that he was trying to recruit Mochoboroane into the government.
He said his meeting was in line with his job as Prime Minister and leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to speak to all political leaders.
“Mochoboroane is a very outspoken person. I wanted us to discuss what is it that we could do to help this country grow.”

Thabane said he is “sick and tired” of “cheap politics of quarrels” instead of looking for solutions to the country’s problems.
“Maybe if he understands we could work together to develop this country,” Thabane added without giving details on which areas he wants to collaborate with Mochoboroane.
Inside sources however said they see a curious coincidence in that Thabane sought the meeting with Mochoboroane soon after dismissing ABC chairman, Motlohi Maliehe, as Minister of Tourism.
Maliehe, an MP for Butha-Buthe No-5 and an ABC stalwart, was fired last week after he fell out with Thabane over his scurrilous attacks on the First Lady whom he openly accused of interfering with government operations and ordering ministers around.

His ouster was viewed as a sign that there is a tempest in the ABC, with others speculating that the party is headed for a split and Thabane is losing his grip on the party.
ABC secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, however quickly moved to dispel this perception.
He said it was not true that the leadership had received complaints from at least ten constituencies who are unhappy with Thabane.
“That is madness. ABC is still intact,” Ntsekele said.

Sources said Thabane offered Mochoboroane the Tourism Minister’s position but he refused, insisting that the MEC’s six seats are worth much more than just one position.
A source said Mochoboroane told Thabane that he could only be in the coalition if he is given four ministries, a significant number of ambassadors and the principal secretaries.
The source said Mochoboroane noted that there are other partners who have fewer seats in the coalition but have plum posts in the government that include ministers, deputies, principals secretaries and diplomats.

Mochoboroane confirmed the meeting with the Prime Minister but could neither give details nor confirm that he was in negotiations with Thabane.
“We had a closed meeting with the Prime Minister but l cannot (reveal) what we discussed,” Mochoboroane said.
thepost understands that Thabane could be trying to bring Mochoboroane into the fold to manage the risk of the growing tensions in his government.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that there is some friction between Thabane and his partners.

There is also a risk that internal fights within the coalition parties could torpedo the government.
Thabane recently confirmed that there are factions in the ABC.
The Reformed Congress of Lesotho, a junior partner in the coalition, is also trying to deal with its own power struggles.

After the election Mochoboroane said he wanted the MEC to be neutral. He said he will collaborate with both the opposition and government on different issues.
There are however concerns within the coalition government that Mochoboroane is using his position in parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to stir trouble for the government and enhance his political career.

In recent months Mochoboroane and his PAC colleagues have been quizzing senior government officials for various cases of corruption, abuse of government funds and breach of procurement regulations.

Majara Molupe 

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