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Thabane appoints new political advisor

. . . Tšehlana to assume new role on Monday 

Keiso Mohloboli

Lehlohonolo TséhlanaSankatana Social Democratic Party leader Lehlohonolo Tšehlana has been appointed political advisor to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
Tšehlana has since confirmed to the Sunday Express that he had been offered the post and would be receiving his contract tomorrow. He replaces Sekhonyana Bereng, who was sacked three weeks ago, for as yet unexplained reasons.

“I had a meeting with the Prime Minister this afternoon and he thanked me for accepting the appointment,” Tšehlana told the Sunday Express on Friday.
Asked how the appointment had come about, Tšehlana said he was approached by Thabane’s personal aide, Elliot Thialala and the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, Maliehe Prince Maliehe on two occasions, with the last meeting taking place on Monday last week.

Tšehlana said the two senior members of Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) told him the Prime Minister had informed the party’s National Executive Committee that he needed a political advisor and after some consultations, “my name was proposed”.

Tšehlana added: “They came to me saying that after the Prime Minister had informed the ABC NEC that he needed a political advisor, my name was put forward.”

But Tšehlana was quick to add working as Thabane’s political advisor did not necessarily mean he was abandoning Sankatana — a party he formed in December 2008 soon after leaving the ABC in a huff.
“Working with the PM will not change my political stance in any way, and neither will it see me deserting my political party,” Tšehlana said.
The benefits of the office of Advisor to the Prime Minister include a chauffeur-driven car, office and personal secretary, among others.

Yet the Sunday Express understands Tšehlana’s appointment to the highly influential post has not only sent shockwaves through the ABC — which formed a coalition government with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) after the May 26 2012 general election had failed to produce a majority winner — but also the country’s body politic as a whole.
This is in light of the bitter and near-bloody fallout between Thabane and Tšehlana in 2008.

A former member of the LCD, Tšehlana was among several LCD Members of Parliament (MPs) who defected with Thabane to form the ABC in 2006.
Tšehlana went on to win the Mokhotlong constituency for the ABC in the 2007 general poll. However, hardly two years later, Tšehlana and Thabane had a major fallout, which saw him founding Senkatana and crossing the floor in parliament with another former ABC MP, Eliabe Mokhanoi.

Sankatana was founded after complaints that instead of pushing for development, the ABC, as the main opposition party at the time, was obsessed with “wrongfully allocating proportional representation seats” in the National Assembly, which the opposition parties at the time insisted had been stolen from them by the LCD-National Independent Party alliance.
Contacted yesterday for comment, Thabane’s press secretary, Thabo Thakalekoala said it was indeed true that Tšehlana would resume work in the Prime Minister’s office tomorrow.
“He will receive his appointment letter and sign a contract on Monday, but I am currently not at liberty to disclose what his new post will be,” Thakalekoala said.
“I can only publicly announce his position once he has signed his contract.”



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