No confidence motion ‘mysteriously vanishes’ from speaker’s office
THE no confidence motion which was filed against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane by All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s Koro-Koro legislator, Motebang Koma, allegedly vanished without trace from the office of the National Assembly Speaker, Sephiri Motanyane.
This according to Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader, Motlalentoa Letsosa, who says they were forced to resubmit a new motion on Thursday. Mr Letsosa made the revelations in parliament on Friday.
The motion was first submitted in June 2019 by Mr Koma, a member of the ABC faction backing estranged ABC deputy leader in his quest to wrest control of the party from party leader and premier, Dr Thabane. Mr Koma’s motion was supported by Mr Letsosa but the motion is yet to be tabled and voted. Parliament was indefinitely closed without explanation in June and only re-opened in October amid widespread speculation that it was closed to give Dr Thabane time to deal with the infighting in the ABC.
Speaking on the disappearance of the motion in parliament, Mr Letsosa, said, “Honourable speaker, I wanted to stand on a point of order because yesterday (Thursday) we were forced to resubmit our motion which disappeared in your office”.
“We were surprised that a motion can just disappear from your office Honourable Speaker. But we have resubmitted our motion and we request that you deal with it diligently,” Mr Letsosa said.
In a subsequent interview with this publication, Mr Letsosa said he intentionally brought up the issue to alert the public of the disappearance of the motion.
“We resubmitted the motion yesterday but I wanted him (Mr Motanyane) to be exposed so that the motion doesn’t disappear again,” he said.
On his part, Mr Motanyane said they would call a search party to look for the motion. He said they would even approach the police and the media for assistance.
“We will call a search party for the motion…We will even go to the police and make announcements on radios for them to assist us in this search,” Mr Motanyane said.
The DC’s legislator for Malingoaneng, Serialong Qoo, said it was disturbing that the motion disappeared immediately after Attorney General Haae Phoofolo issued a legal opinion saying the motion was legally sound and could be tabled before parliament and voted upon.
“When motion was filed with your office, you (Mr Motanyane) told this house that you were going to ask for a legal opinion from the Attorney General. Now that it (legal opinion) has been issued, the motion disappears and you are now going to look for it at the police. What do we need to do,” asked Mr Qoo.
Mr Motanyane ignored Mr Qoo and asked the Minister of Water, Samonyane Ntsekele, to respond to an urgent question from Maletsunyane Member of Parliament Khutliso Mokhethi.
Mr Mokhethi had asked if the minister was aware that the town of Semonkong has been without water for the past three months and that this situation placed the lives of people in the area at risk. He wanted to know how soon the issue would be addressed but the question could not be answered as Mr Ntsekele was absent on the day.
Minister of Mining, Temeki Tšolo, then stood up and asked that the question be deferred, much to the annoyance of the opposition which said that it was unheard of for parliament to defer an urgent question.
Despite the opposition protests, Mr Motanyane announced that the question had been deferred. He also adjourned parliament until Monday afternoon.
Earlier on, Mr Motanyane had asked the Leader of the House and Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki why the government side was empty, much to the delight of the opposition who chorused that there was no government.
“Honourable Leader of the House, what is happening on this (government) side of the house? Where is the chief whip? Why didn’t you chase after him? Honourable leader of the house, are you able to respond to my question in the absence of the chief whip,” asked Mr Motanyane.
Mr Moleleki replied by saying, “Honourable Speaker, today is the normal sitting of the house and those who were unable to come didn’t boycott this sitting but have chosen to confuse themselves. This is still a sitting of the house”.