MASERU — Trade Minister Temeki Tšolo could face the axe upon his return from a business trip in Turkey.
Tšolo’s fate was allegedly sealed at a heated cabinet meeting convened by Prime Minister Tom Thabane before he left for the UN general Assembly in Ney York last week. This was after the cabinet received a report that the All Basotho Convention MP for Mafeteng recently assaulted a female Lesotho Revenue Authority officer at the Van Rooyen border gate in Mafeteng.
The minister is alleged to have accused the officer of delaying to give him M10 change after paying toll fees at the border gate. The injuries were so serious that the woman had to go to the hospital. Police spokesperson Thato Ramarikhoane confirmed that a case of assault had been opened against the Trade Minister.
He said the police will complete their investigations soon. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said cabinet decided that the minister’s dismissal will only be announced when he is back home. According to the sources Tšolo was expected to return to Maseru yesterday. Tšolo is likely to be succeeded by his deputy, Sekhulumi Ntsoaole, who is also the MP for Mabote constituency.
Teya-Teyaneng constituency MP Maliehe Maliehe is tipped to take over as Ntsoaole’s deputy. The sources said Ntsoaole and Maliehe have since been briefed about the new changes but their names would be gazette when Thabane returns from his official trip. “We learned the cabinet decided Tšolo must go but his successors should not be named officially until he has returned home,” said a source.