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Bishops lauds Thabane on departure, bemoan threats to stability

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Lesotho Catholic Bishops’ Conference (LCBC) has applauded Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s decision to retire and appealed to the relevant authorities to expedite the processes leading to his departure.

The bishops however, bemoaned the poor service delivery and instability in government, saying this was a “threat to society and undermines the already fragile economy”.

The 80-year old Dr Thabane announced on 16 January 16 that he was stepping down. He cited his advanced age and waning stamina after more than five decades in politics as his reasons for retiring.

However, it is widely believed that the octogenarian succumbed to pressure from his own All Basotho Convention, the opposition as well as non-governmental organisations who demanded his resignation in the aftermath of sensational allegations by Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli that he and First Lady, ’Maesaiah Thabane, were suspects in the 14 June 2017 murder of his former wife, Lipolelo.

“We begin by congratulating the Honourable Prime Minister for doing something so uncommon in the African continent to resign and telling the nation that he felt fatigued,” the bishops said in a joint statement issued on 6 February 2020 and signed by Arch-Bishop Tlali Lerotholi (OMI) Bishop Augustinus Bane, Bishop Joseph Sephamola and Bishop John Tlhomola.

“We call on all the electorate of the Basotho community to respect and accept the Prime Minister’s wish to rest. We appeal to all those in charge that preparations for his retirement be made speedily as he has openly expressed his intentions and that a replacement be found by those entrusted to do so for the sake of the people.”

The bishops however, bemoaned the poor service delivery and instability in government.

“As the LCBC, we are gravely concerned about the current situation of instability within the government. This is oppression on the nation and stifling of the already fragile economy. All those in power should be careful not to throw this country into a quandary by serving their own interests and ignoring the people.

“Most government ministries are not giving services to the people and this is very worrisome as this government was put in power by the same people. Let us all remember that we are in a democratic dispensation. Let us all strive to serve our people selflessly and put Basotho first in all that we do.

“We’d also like to appeal to the courts of law to expeditiously serve justice and in an acceptable timeframe without delays and without fear or favour. Let us remember to put God first in all that we do,” the bishops said.

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