THREE All Basotho Convention (ABC) Members of Parliament (MPs) accused of submitting sick leave notes to the legislature to avoid expulsion have dismissed the allegations as an attempt to dent their party’s image.
Sources told the Sunday Express this week that the legislators, ’Mamandla Musa of Teyateyaneng constituency, Sam Rapapa of Mosalemane No.19 constituency and Temeki Tšolo of Mafeteng No.55 submitted the sick leave notes in case the seven-party coalition made good on its threat to cut the salaries of opposition MPs.
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which is a partner in the coalition, on Wednesday warned of “serious measures” in store for opposition MPs continuing to boycott the National Assembly.
The opposition bloc comprising the ABC, Basotho National Party and Reformed Congress of Lesotho has been boycotting parliament since 23 June 2015 protesting alleged lack of law and order in the country.
The opposition has also vowed to continue with the boycott until their leaders are back from exile and army commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli is no longer in office.
Ms Musa yesterday said she only submitted the sick leave notes to “fulfil” Parliament’s requirements and not because she was afraid of losing her job.
“I have always submitted my sick leave notes in fulfillment of parliament’s requirements whether I am on duty or not. There is nothing sinister about submitting the sick leave notes. I have been submitting them long before these threats of cutting opposition MPs’ salaries,” she said.
On his part, Mr Tšolo scoffed at the allegations, saying they were the work of “propagandists” bent on tarnishing him and his party’s reputation.
“I am the last person who would do such a thing (submit sick leave notes). In fact I was the only MP to suggest that we all quit Parliament and resign rather than be oppressed,” he said.
“There is simply no way I would make such a suggestion and then do the exact opposite. I have not been to any doctor since I am blessed with good health. Whoever said that surely hates me with a passion.
“I don’t even know who is responsible for human resources at the National Assembly.”
Mr Rapapa told the Sunday Express his detractors probably assumed he was submitting his sick leave note last year when he was actually doing it for Hololo No.2 legislator ’Mamahele Radebe.
“I have not been to Parliament for a long time since the boycott. The only time I can vividly recall being there was around October last year when I went to submit ’M’e ’Mamahele’s sick leave note. I cannot go back on my word to the people,” he said.