Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Ministry puts squeeze on LDF to flush out Kamoli


Keiso Mohloboli

THE Ministry of Defence is putting the squeeze on Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) officers aligned to him by cutting off their supplies in a bid to ensure the fired army commander steps down.

Lt Gen Kamoli has refused to relinquish command of the LDF despite being dismissed for alleged insubordination by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in a gazette issued on 29 August. He has since refused to acknowledge his replacement by Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao arguing both the dismissal and the latter’s promotion were “illegal”.

Due to the ensuing standoff, Lt Gen Mahao is yet to enter any of the country’s barracks to address his charges, while Lt Gen Kamoli remains in charge of the LDF.

Lt Gen Kamoli has been accused of emptying the LDF’s armoury and moving soldiers loyal to him into the mountains, allegations he has vehemently denied.

A highly-placed source told the Sunday Express the Ministry of Defence has imposed “sanctions” on military institutions to force out Lt Gen Kamoli.

“Among the sanctions imposed include the cutting off of Lt Gen Kamoli’s unlimited mobile airtime from Econet Telecom Lesotho with the newly-appointed commander, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, now receiving that benefit,” the source said.

All the senior officials have been banned from government-sponsored international trips with the Defence ministry extending the disqualification to all LDF personnel.

The source also revealed that the fuel and lubricants contract between the LDF and petroleum firm Engen was also terminated on Thursday, “meaning all army vehicles will not get any fuel”.

The ministry had also frozen Lt Gen Kamoli’s September salary, and if by chance he receives it, the sources said, it would be deducted from his terminal benefits.

“This also applies to the liabilities that keep on accumulating under his illegal command,” the source added.

The Ministry of Defence’s letter, titled “Request to stop filling Lesotho Defence Force vehicles” and signed by the ministry’s Principal Secretary, Thato Mohasoa, to the manager of Engen Garage – Lesotho reads:

“Due to the outstanding invoices we already have, we are arranging to get funds to settle the outstanding bills.

“Therefore, your office is kindly requested to stop filling vehicles of the Lesotho Defence Force with immediate effect until further notice.

“Your assistance will be highly appreciated”.

Contacted for comment, Mr Mohasoa told the Sunday Express the sanctions were neither personal nor were they meant to force anyone out of the LDF.

“The funds allocated for fuel and lubricants as well as for electricity had been exhausted for this financial year and the Ministry of Defence is already accumulating debt,” Mr Mohasoa said.

“I made several attempts to call for meetings with LDF authorities to no avail.

“I recently contacted the LDF’s second-in-command, Major General Khoantle Motsomotso, to discuss administration issues, including the exhaustion of funds, but he refused to come.”

Mr Mohasoa added that as the chief accounting officer for the Ministry of Defence, he is responsible of the disbursement of funds “and when Major General Motsomotso ignored my invitation the decision was left with me”.

“If ever he (General Motsomotso) agreed to come, we could have shared views and discussed ways to reach a solution,” he said, adding the LDF is faced with a serious financial crisis for this financial year.





Comments are closed.