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Cabinet to be reshuffled again

…new ministers to be sworn in

…reshuffle comes barely two weeks after the first reshuffle

Keiso Mohloboli

THREE ministers from Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki’s Alliance of Democrats (AD) are set to be sworn in tomorrow morning at the Royal Palace, barely two weeks after the cabinet was first reshuffled, the Sunday Express has learnt.

Government sources yesterday told the Sunday Express that the opposition Democratic Congress (DC) legislators, Mahapa Mothepu (Tele), ‘Matumelo Sekatle (Qacha’s Nek) and the former National Assembly speaker, Ntlhoi Motsamai (Hloahloeng) will tomorrow defect from the DC to AD when parliament opens in the afternoon.

The sources also said their defections in parliament will be preceded by the morning ceremony at the Royal Palace where they would be sworn-in as ministers.

The Government Secretary, Moahloli Mphaka, yesterday confirmed that the authenticity of a document that was widely circulated on social media on the swearing-in ceremony at the Royal Palace.

He however, refused to disclose the identities of the ministers who would be sworn in.

While confirming the swearing-in of “a new minister or ministers,” he said, “the arrival order of the swearing-in ceremony on Monday is authentic and it has the GS office stamp”.

“Indeed, there is a swearing-in ceremony at the Royal Palace at 10 am but I won’t tell you the names of the new cabinet ministers. The public will know on Monday.”

He rubbished the sources’ claims that the former National Assembly speaker, Ms Motsamai, would be sworn-in as Minister of Law and Constitutional Affairs.

“I am not aware that Ms Motsamai will be sworn-in because Mr Lebohang Hloaele is still the Law minister and I don’t recall the issuing of a government gazette removing him from that ministerial position,” Mr Mphaka said.

For her part, Ms Motsamai also refuted allegations that she would defect to the AD, saying she it was not the first time such “falsehoods” had been peddled about her.

“I am currently at Hloahloeng constituency coming from a DC constituency rally. It is not the first time to hear allegations that I will leave the DC for AD. It all started after the former AD deputy leader Kabelo Mafura’s death.

“It is completely untrue that I am leaving the DC, I am even with DC Hloahloeng constituency secretary and others as we speak, getting ready for a caucus and concert tonight. Those people should just leave me out of their claims,” Ms Motsamai said.

AD Secretary General, Mokhele Moletsane, also confirmed the swearing-in ceremony on tomorrow but refused to disclose names.

“I am currently out of the country since Monday and I am not aware of any DC members defecting to AC on Monday. The only thing I am aware of is the swearing-in ceremony on Monday but I don’t even know the people who are going to be sworn in,” Mr Moletsane said.

Efforts of getting comments from Mr Mothepu and Ms Sekatle were fruitless as they were not reachable on their mobile phones before going to print last night.

This is the second time the cabinet would have been reshuffled after the 9 February 2018 reshuffle which saw some ministers lose their jobs.

Dr Thabane fired the-then Public Works and Transport Minister, Lehlohonolo Moramotse, and replaced him with All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader, Maliehe Prince Maliehe. Health Minister, Nyapane Kaya, was also relieved of his duties and replaced with Nkaku Kabi.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training, Ntoi Rapapa, was promoted to head the same ministry and his former position was taken by Alliance of Democrats Women’s League President, ‘Maphoka Motoboli.

Public Service minister and Basotho National Party leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, was moved to the Communications, Science and Technology portfolio.

He swapped ministries with his party’s deputy leader, Joang Molapo.

The Minister of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, Motlohi Maliehe, swapped with his Tourism, Environment and Culture counterpart, ‘Mamotsie Motsie.

Education and Training Minister, Mokhele Moletsane, was moved to the Justice and Correctional Service portfolio, replacing Mahali Phamotse who was moved to the Gender, Sports, Youth and Recreation ministry.

ABC legislator, Leshoboro Mohlajoa, was also appointed deputy minister in the Prime Minister’ office in a move that Government Secretary, Moahloli Mphaka, said would facilitate the removal of the NSS from the Defence ministry to the direct control of the PM’s office.

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