Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili is yet to meet with his exiled predecessor, Thomas Thabane, over the rejection of government housing by the latter’s wife, the Sunday Express has learnt.
Ms Thabane was in the country early this month to inspect three Maseru houses government was offering her husband to entice him out of exile but turned them down claiming they were rundown, unsafe and far from neighbours.
Senior Private Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mamello Morrison, told the Sunday Express yesterday that she had relayed Ms Thabane’s feelings regarding the houses and the leaders were still to meet over the issue.
Dr Thabane fled to South Africa on 11 May this year after claiming he had been informed by his military intelligence sympathisers of a plot to assassinate him by vengeful Lesotho Defence Force elements who accused him of victimising them while he was premier between June 2012 and March 2015.
However, after meeting with Dr Mosisili in South Africa on at-least three occasions over the past two months, Dr Thabane had indicated he would only return to Lesotho if certain conditions were met by the government. Some of the conditions the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader set were that government should provide him with accommodation as well as police and not LDF security.
But after Ms Thabane rejected the houses in Maseru West and Old Europa in the presence of Ms Morrison, Acting Government Secretary Emmanuel Lesoma, as well as several ABC officials and supporters, neither party had since publicly commented on the issue.
Speaking to the Sunday Express yesterday, Ms Morrison said she had relayed what transpired during the tour to the premier.
“I gave Dr Mosisili a report of the tour of the houses being offered and he said he was going to look into the matter and continue with the talks with Ntate Thabane,” Ms Morrison said.
On the other hand, Dr Thabane’s spokesperson, Thabo Thakalekoala, said the ball was in Dr Mosisili’s court regarding the issue.
“It’s up to the Prime Minister to decide because Ntate Thabane’s wife and ABC supporters were clear that the houses were a disgrace and could not be allocated to a former premier in their current state,” Mr Thakalekoala said.
“However, ever since the inspection, Dr Mosisili has not said anything to Dr Thabane but we are hopeful the two are going to meet and discuss the way forward.”
Meanwhile, in addition to Dr Thabane, several LDF members, ABC supporters as well as leaders of the Basotho National Party and Reformed Congress of Lesotho, Thesele ‘Maseribane and Keketso Rantšo respectively, have also sought refuge in South Africa, fearing for their lives.
Dr Thabane, Chief ‘Maseribane, and Ms Rantšo were partners in a coalition government, which however, failed to last its prescribed five years due to persistent squabbling between the premier and his deputy, Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader Mothetjoa Metsing.
The power-struggle eventually led to early elections in February this year, culminating in a new, seven-party government led by Democratic Congress (DC) leader, Dr Mosisili.
Ironically, Dr Mosisili had been succeeded by Dr Thabane after the 26 May 2012 general elections had produced a hung parliament.