EMBATTLED Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro has reiterated that he will not resign despite being recalled by his own All Basotho Convention (ABC) party’s national executive committee (NEC) almost two weeks ago.
Addressing a Wednesday public gathering in Mount Moorosi, Quthing, Dr Majoro said his ouster was being pushed by people who were unhappy that he had begun tackling the high murder rates and other violent crimes that have lately rocked the country and fuelled instability.
Despite his rivals’ alleged machinations, he said he was going nowhere and would remain prime minister until next year’s elections due any time after September 2022.
“You probably have heard from those who love speaking on radio that I am now the former prime minister,” Dr Majoro said.
“Let me assure you that I am still your prime minister until the 2022 elections. Please don’t listen to those false allegations being made by those who fail to understand that I am not the prime minister of a political party but a people’s prime minister. There is no political party that has ever voted for a prime minister. Prime Ministers are voted for by legislators in parliament,” Dr Majoro said.
His comments come against the background of the 2 December 2021 ABC NEC decision to recall him. Ten out of 17 NEC members voted to recall Dr Majoro and replace him with deputy secretary general and now fired cabinet minister, Nkaku Kabi. Only seven voted to retain Dr Majoro.
Dr Majoro also voted in the NEC poll. Shortly after the results were announced, the premier is said to have told fellow NEC members that he was not going anywhere despite their decision.
In his Wednesday address, the premier claimed that his ouster was being pushed by politicians who were unhappy that he had launched a campaign to stop the high murder rates and violent crimes in the country.
“The noises that you are hearing that I have been toppled are being made by people who are trying to run away from answering for their crimes.
“You will all remember that a few weeks ago, I expressed concerns over the rampant killings of women, girls and the elderly by men. I expressed concern over the illegal miners who are killing one another. I also raised concerns that suspects in serious crimes are easily granted bail.
“People know very well about the police campaigns to eradicate crime and ensure that all criminals are arrested and prosecuted. This is why there is this noise that the government must be changed and replaced by one which will protect criminals from answering for their deeds. This country has been unstable for way too long and this was caused by our own politicians.
“Our politicians are doing scary things and sometimes they use the security agencies (to commit crimes). The army officers are the ones who get imprisoned while they remain outside. In the past, justice was not equally administered. Therefore, when you go for elections, you should vote for a different breed of politicians to represent you in parliament,” Dr Majoro said.
Ironically, ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa said the NEC had recalled Dr Majoro following an outcry by the rank and file of the party as well as the general public over a plethora of issues including the premier’s alleged failure to stop the high murder rates in the country over the course of his 19 months in power.
He said the NEC could not fold its hands and watch while the country was burning. Hence it had exercised its oversight role by voting to recall Dr Majoro, Mr Masoetsa said. He said right now the country needed a decisive prime minister who would act to address the multiple challenges bedevilling the country, not someone like Dr Majoro who “only paid lip service to pressing issues”.
He said the NEC believed that in Mr Kabi, they had found the best candidate to address all the challenges. But in a clear indication that the war over the control of both party and government is only just beginning, Dr Majoro is taking the fight to his rivals.
He began his fight back by firing Mr Kabi from cabinet las week.
Two of his allies, Dr Majoro’s allies, Tlali Mohapi and Keketso Lepheane, have now launched an urgent constitutional application to stop ABC leader and former premier Thomas Thabane from “unconstitutionally” ousting him.
The application will be heard on 22 December 2021.