Speaker slams MPs’ conduct
NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Ntlhoi Motsamai has condemned the “grossly disorderly conduct” of some Members of Parliament (MPs) in the past session of parliament which was adjourned on 22 November 2016.
Ms Motsamai made the remarks during the re-opening of parliament on Friday, which was reconvened after she indefinitely adjourned proceedings back in 22 November 2016.
It was adjourned at a time when the opposition sought to move a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Montsuoe Lethoba which was seen as a dress rehearsal for the bigger no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili-led seven party coalition government.
The opposition, comprising of the All Basotho Convention, Alliance for Democrats (AD), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), have since vowed to press on with the no-confidence motion.
Recalling the events of the last session, Ms Motsamai said the House was no longer a peaceful haven.
“We carry a distasteful memory of events from previous meetings where unusual and callous behavior played out so often such that it looked as if it was normal and inevitable,” Ms Motsamai said
“The house had to contend with frequent occasions of breach of privilege and contempt of the house itself, use of offensive, obscene, provocative, threatening language words and insults, physical attacks and total disregard for the Chair.”
She said besides the Sergeant-At-Arms being subjected to threats, she also suffered similar threats at the hands of legislators Motlohi Maliehe, Lesego Makgothi and Temeki Tšolo of the All Basotho Convention (ABC).
“Honorable Joang Molapo was bitterly abrasive on the person of the Deputy Speaker and insults such as “u ka nna oa fokofa” literally meaning “you can f**k off’ were hurled from the crowd.
“The House will recall that on Tuesday 22 November 2016, dreadful and derogatory remarks were shouted at me as well. Hon Tšolo came running and made an attempt to assault me while he incessantly hurled insults as well.”
She also said there was an alleged breach of the sanctity of the Well of the House when police officers had taken the Mace away and she was urged by Honourable Monyane Moleleki to say something about the incident as it was quite unusual.
Although she was not in charge on that day, Ms Motsamai had watched a video clip of the incident which showed “Hon ’Mamandla Musa dashing to the table where the mace was tucked during the proceedings and this sparked a spontaneous response from her colleagues”.
“Hon. H.J Setšabi joined her to form a barricade which prevented the Sergeant At-Arms from accessing the mace.”
“Honorable Members will agree with me that it was utterly inconceivable that such a bizarre behavior could unfold on the floor of the House.
“This evoked an impromptu response from the police officers who jumped in to secure the mace to avoid a repeat of the 8th parliament where the House was left with no option but to adjourn following the removal of the mace under dubious circumstances.”
She appealed to all legislators to maintain respect for each other regardless of political diffe