Mokhosi calls ‘Maseribane ‘immoral’
LCD stalwart also calls premier Thabane ‘a prophet’ who prophesised his own fate
Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Acting Deputy Secretary General, Tšeliso Mokhosi, has accused Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, of being “immoral and unprofessional”.
Mr Mokhosi, who is also the Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, said he was shocked to read Chief ‘Maseribane’s comments in a local weekly, the Lesotho Times, about what had allegedly transpired during a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday last week.
Chief ‘Maseribane, who is also the Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, told the publication that the meeting had resolved to take disciplinary action against Mr Mokhosi and the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Selibe Mochorobane, who is also LCD Acting Deputy Spokesperson, for allegedly disrespecting King Letsie III.
The charge, Chief ‘Maseribane said, was for the two ministers’ comments regarding the promotion of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao to Lieutenant General and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander and the dismissal of Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli as LDF Commander.
The promotion and dismissal were done by King Letsie III on 29 August 2014, on the advice of Prime Minister and All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane. The LCD, led by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, has since rejected the pronouncements, and Mr Mochoboroane and Mr Mokhosi have commented about the issue in their respective LCD portfolios.
In the Lesotho Times interview in question, Chief ‘Maseribane said: “We have been assigned by cabinet to take disciplinary action against those ministers who disrespected the King. Ministers take oath of office and owe their allegiance to His Majesty, but some have been disrespecting the King.
“A minister can’t do this no-matter the pressure he or she is under. That is totally inexcusable, and why we have been tasked to deal with those ministers”.
However, Mr Mokhosi said Chief ‘Maseribane was not telling the truth when he said there was an exchange of words between ABC and BNP ministers on one hand, and LCD ministers on the other, over the issue. The ABC, BNP and LCD formed a coalition government after the 26 May 2012 general election had resulted in a hung parliament. However, the LCD has since fallen out with its two partners over Dr Thabane’s alleged dictatorial tendencies, leading to the collapse of the government and snap elections in February 2015—two years before the original poll date of 2017.
“Every minister takes oath to keep cabinet issues confidential, not unless an agreement has been reached to take the matter to the public through the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Selibe Mochoboroane.
“It is a lie that the meeting ended in a fight after it was suggested that me and Mr Mochoboroane should go for a disciplinary hearing,” Mr Mokhosi said.
“Maybe it was their wish that we should lose our tempers, not knowing that LCD members are very conversant with respect and modesty.
“In the party’s culture, we are taught to be humble and very careful during discussions, which is why you will not see any LCD minister having disputes over issues of this government.
“Chief ‘Maseribane spread those lies simply because he is on a campaign to discredit His Majesty King Letsie III’s cabinet.
“He is insulting the chairmanship of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in that regard, and that is unacceptable. He is the one who has been spreading these lies that Mr Mochoboroane and myself had been insulting the King. The allegations were unfounded because we never and will never insult our very own King.
“In the coalition government agreement (signed in 2012), there is a clause of agreeing to disagree and if we disagree with Ntate Thabane’s motive to prorogue parliament (which he did on 10 June 2014 to avoid a no-confidence vote), it doesn’t mean we are insulting our King.”
Mr Mokhosi said His Majesty is apolitical and should not be dragged into party politics.
“‘Maseribane and his friends are not confident enough to fight their own political fights without dragging the King’s name into it. I am of the view that His Majesty approved the nine-month prorogation because he recalled that Ntate Thabane was the Minister of Foreign Affairs during Chief Leabua Jonathan’s rule, when his father, King Moshoeshoe II, was sent to exile in England,” Mr Mokhosi said.
“Maybe if His Majesty had refused to approve parliament’s prorogation, he could have left his family and be sent into exile just like his father.
“The LCD was never happy about parliament’s prorogation but at the same time, we understood His Majesty’s position and felt that he had no choice.”
According to Mr Mokhosi, the nation was now aware that “Ntate Thabane’s governance is “undemocratic and very oppressive. If he is not stopped on time, many Basotho will lose their lives.”
Mr Mokhosi also said he was happy that despite being a politician, Dr Thabane was also “a prophet because he prophesised his own fate”.
“He prorogued parliament for nine months, and said it was going to reopen on 28 February 2015. Actually, he prophesised his own fate because the general elections are going to be on the same date,” Mr Mokhosi said.
“This issue of prophecy also saw Police Spokesperson Lebona Mohloboli claiming that Ntate Metsing was being guarded by dogs, while in fact, he was prophesying that Ntate Thabane will be guarded by foreign dogs, which is exactly what is happening now.
“He is being guarded by South African police and their highly trained dogs.”