Mochoboroane the peace-maker
…as ABC and AD legislators resolve their differences over the Public Accounts Committee
ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) legislator, Nyapane Kaya and his Alliance of Democrats (AD) counterpart, Thuso Litjobo, have made peace after they fell out last month over the former’s claims that the AD was frustrating the efforts of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to bring errant civil servants to book.
The duo recently addressed a press conference in Maseru where they announced that they had since buried their differences after the wrangling last month which followed Mr Kaya’s claims against his colleagues in the governing coalition. The four party coalition consists of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s ABC, Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki’s AD, Labour Minister Keke Rantšo’s Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) and Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane’s Basotho National Party (BNP).
Mr Kaya and Mr Litjobo are part of the PAC which also includes the chairperson, Selibe Mochoboroane of the opposition Movement for Economic Change (MEC).
Tensions boiled over last month after Mr Kaya went on radio to accuse the AD of blocking PAC proceedings to protect some of its members from being summoned to hearings over graft allegations.
Well-placed sources told this publication that Mr Kaya repeated his claims in a caucus meeting for the legislators from the governing coalition.
Mr Kaya was subsequently handed an indefinite suspension from the caucus of the governing coalition’s legislators for allegedly revealing details of the caucus meetings to the opposition.
Mr Litjobo also went on to attack Mr Kaya for allegedly leaking confidential discussions of the government legislators’ caucus meeting to the opposition. He said no “self-respecting MP” should ever leak information from such meetings and added that “Mr Kaya needs to be stopped now”.
But in a new turn of events recently, Mr Litjobo and Mr Kaya announced at a press conference that they had buried their differences.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Kaya thanked Mr Mochoboroane for his role in mediating between him and Mr Litjobo to ensure the two patched their differences.
“I know that you are all wondering what is happening between Honourable Litjobo and I following what occurred between us,” Mr Kaya said in his address.
“It is normal for two cows from the same kraal to injure each other during a fight. Ironically, if you look into the kraal moments after the fight, you will see find the same bulls leaking each’s wounds.
“We have now made peace and we are happily working together thanks to the PAC, especially the chairperson Ntate Mochoboroane.”
On his part, Mr Litjobo said “what Honourable Kaya is saying is true”.
“I regard him (Mr Kaya) as my father and I learn a lot from him. As he has said, just like two bulls from the same kraal massaging each other’s necks after a fight, we have made peace and everything is well now,” Mr Litjobo said.
Mr Mochoboroane, who also attended the press conference, said the legislators had resolved their differences- a development which would enable the PAC to resume its work on a united footing.
“The issue between Honourable Kaya and Honourable Litjobo has been resolved. We dealt with the challenges that they were facing in the (PAC) committee so that we work as a united team to assist the government in its fight against corruption,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
It was also revealed at the press conference that the PAC would resume its sittings tomorrow. The PAC proceedings were suspended 46 days ago after the PAC complained that it had been allocated a room which was too small to accommodate its members and those who would be summoned to appear before it. PAC also complained that the room did not have recording equipment to enable it to capture the testimonies of those who appeared before it.
Previously the PAC held its sessions in the chambers of the National Assembly before the latter decided it should move into the smaller committee rooms.
The National Assembly has since demolished a wall in committee room 6 to make the room big enough to accommodate about 100 people.
Messrs Kaya and Litjobo are members of the PAC along with PAC chairperson, Selibe Mochoboroane (MEC), Sam Rapapa, ‘Matsepo Ramakoae, Likopo Mahase, Thabo Sofonea (all ABC), Mothetjoa Metsing (Lesotho Congress for Democracy), Mathibeli Mokhothu and Palo Leteetee (Democratic Congress).
Messrs Kaya and Litjobo had been at each other’s throats following the former’s allegations on radio that the AD was frustrating the work of the PAC by barring it from conducting hearings aimed at holding accountable public officers linked to the AD as part of efforts to fight corruption.
Well-placed sources told the Sunday Express’s publication’s sister Lesotho Times publication that Mr Kaya made the same allegations during a caucus meeting of the governing parties in May this year.
According to the sources, Mr Kaya allegedly attacked the AD leader Mr Moleleki during the caucus meeting, accusing him of seeking to divide the PAC along party lines. Mr Kaya allegedly said that Mr Moleleki wanted to shield his allies from scrutiny by the parliamentary body. This was after Mr Moleleki had raised concerns about the PAC proceedings.
“In that (caucus) meeting Ntate Moleleki told the government legislators that they must tread carefully on the issue of the PAC as (its chairperson) Ntate Mochoboroane was using it to embarrass people and act as though he was above the law,” a source said.
“Ntate Moleleki appeared deeply disturbed by the ongoing PAC investigations into the misappropriation of public funds, saying it was not good for the PAC chairperson to continue to embarrass civil servants during the proceedings.”
Another source said that Mr Moleleki’s remarks irked Mr Kaya and fellow ABC legislator, Motlohi Maliehe. The two ABC legislators insisted that there was nothing wrong with the PAC taking public servants to task for abusing public funds.
Mr Litjobo then accused Mr Kaya of publicly attacking the AD on radio, accusing it of frustrating the important work of the PAC.
“We (Litjobo and Kaya) are both PAC members and the PAC agreed that we should not let our party affiliations cloud our proceedings but when the PAC is dragged into politics, I will remove my suit, put on my party regalia and defend my party against those attacking it,” Mr Litjobo said at the time.
“Some of the members of parliament attacking the AD are PAC members and we are going to stop them doing that, the gloves are now off. These MPs are frustrated in their own political parties and are now venting out on the AD. Kaya is one of those people and he must stop attacking the AD. Kaya is not speaking on behalf of ABC,” Mr Litjobo charged.
Mr Litjobo further said that Mr Kaya’s attacks on Mr Moleleki were out of order and “he (Mr Kaya) needs to be stopped now”.