Party’s deputy spokesperson, Selibe Mochoboroane says Metsing’s ‘humiliation’ is the final straw’
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy spokesperson, Selibe Mochoboroane, says the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leaders “will get the fight they are looking for” from him and his party.
Mr Mochoboroane, who is also the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, yesterday told the Sunday Express that the ABC leaders must never fool themselves into believing Basotho are not aware of their “corrupt activities,” which he said would soon be exposed for the nation to see who is “really corrupt” in the coalition government.
The minister—who was dragged before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Friday, alongside party leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing for alleged corruption before the case was withdrawn—insists the move was only meant to portray the LCD leaders as dishonest, which he said the ABC would pay for dearly.
Mr Mochoboroane also said he was surprised to realise he was one of the accused in the case, when he had only gone to the court to offer his leader moral support.
“That humiliation visited upon Ntate Metsing and myself, was meant to be just that—a humiliation of the LCD leadership and the party as a whole.
“It was carefully planned to portray the LCD as a corrupt party. On my part, I was not even invited to appear in court the way Ntate Metsing was handed the court papers on his arrival from Namibia, and while he was still at the airport, for that matter.
“I went to the court to support him in the case, only to find out that I was the Second Accused in the case. Maybe I was not given the court summon as a way of trapping me. These people wanted to arrest me for contempt of court had I not been in court because how else do you explain such a situation, when I was not even made aware that I was supposed to be in court?” Mr Mochoboroane said.
According to Mr Mochoboroane, there are procedures which must be followed when a minister is suspected of corruption.
“It was so inappropriate for the whole deputy prime minister to be given a court summon at the airport in front of so many people.
“One would expect the Attorney General or Director of Public Prosecutions to handle the matter if ever there was a case against Mr Metsing. Humiliating him at the airport like that was an insult and unacceptable disgrace.”
Mr Mochoboroane further said it has been a painful journey since the LCD, ABC and Basotho National Party (BNP) formed a coalition government in June 2012. The three parties decided to pool their constituencies together to come up with the 61-plus parliamentary seats required by the country’s constitution for a party or coalition of parties to form a government.
“Accusing DPM Metsing of corruption is the worst form of disrespect, and again, why are these corruption allegations only being levelled at LCD members? Some ABC leaders and members, who are part of the civil service, are involved in so many corrupt activities that are well-known by the people. Instead of dealing with such cases, they are accusing the LCD leaders and supporters of being corrupt.
“You know, we are ever-ready to give the ABC the political fight that they are looking for. As the LCD, we have had enough of the mistreatment that the ABC is giving us within the coalition government. If they don’t want to work with us, they should just be clear and tell us the truth, rather than telling lies about the LCD leadership being corrupt.”
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Congress Parties (ACP) Youth League leaders held a press conference at the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Friday, and accused Dr Thabane of being behind the “humiliation” of Mr Metsing.
The ACP comprises the LCD, Democratic Congress (DC), Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), Basotho Congress Party (BCP) and Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP).
The LCD Member of Parliament (MP), Tšoanelo Ramakeoana said Dr Thabane should come clean on Mr Metsing’s “humiliation”.
“Ntate Thabane claims that he hates corruption, yet he is just out to humiliate certain people by using the police.
“In-fact, the truth of the matter is that there is a group of misdirected individuals called the ABC Resource Group. It is this group that is creating all these problems, and not the government as claimed by Thabane.
“What I would want to advise the police is not to be used by politicians; if they want to be politicians, they should discard the LMPS uniform and wear the ABC’s yellow regalia,” Mr Ramakeoana said.
Mr Ramakeoana said as the youths of this country, they are “ready to die” for Lesotho.
On his part, the LPC Youth League leader Bokang Ramatšella said Dr Thabane should “get ready and furnish prison cells with comfortable beds because he will soon find himself behind bars” for his alleged corrupt activities.
“Ntate Thabane is using government funds to look after some village women under a programme being run by his partner. Those are public funds which should not be used the way they are being used under this programme. Is this not corruption?” Ramatšella said.
Repeated efforts by the Sunday Express to get a comment from the ABC were fruitless, while there was also no immediate comment from the prime minister’s office.