AD denies plotting Majoro’s ouster



MASERU – The opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD) has denied knowledge of a mooted plan to oust Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro and replace him with its leader, Monyane Moleleki. Basotho Patriotic Party (BPP) leader, Tefo Mapesela, seconded by AD legislator, Kose Makoa, this week filed a notice of motion of no confidence against Majoro.

Mapesela proposed Moleleki as a candidate to be the next prime minister. The constitution states that a resolution of no confidence in the government “shall not be effective unless it proposes the name of a member of the National Assembly for the King to appoint in the place of the Prime Minister”.

AD spokesperson Thuso Litjobo told Public Eye yesterday that his party had not been formally notified about the motion and indicated that they only learnt about it on social media. “Like everybody else, we have only seen a document making rounds on social media,” Litjobo said. Mapesela’s notice did not divulge reasons for saying Majoro should be ousted.

The notice of motion reads: “That this honourable house has no confidence in the Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho Dr Moeketsi Majoro. “I therefore propose that the leader of opposition Honourable Monyane Moleleki from Machache No 39 be the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho.” When contacted yesterday, Mapesela said he was in South Africa and was therefore unable to speak.

Majoro has previously said he was unfazed by his detractors’ conspiracies to unseat him and indicated that he would be the head of government until the next election scheduled for 2022. “They said I will not last a day in office but today marks 11 months and a day since I have the prime minister. We will reach 2022. I have been counting the days from day one and I will continue doing so until next year when we go to the election,” Majoro said in May this year.

At that time, ABC looked more vulnerable than it has ever been in the almost 15-year period it has been existing, and the reason was largely infighting. Majoro was appointed prime minister in May last year following the resignation of his predecessor Thomas Thabane. Thabane’s decision to step down came amid mounting pressure over a case in which he and his current wife, ’Maesaeiah are suspected of involvement in the June 2017 murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo.

Both Thabane and ’Maesaiah deny any involvement in the killing of Lipolelo. Thabane’s resignation cleared the way for Majoro, an economist and the country’s former development planning and finance minister, to take the reins. Moleleki was Thabane’s deputy in the coalition government made up of (AD), All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL). When this coalition collapsed, a new coalition made up mainly of ABC and Democratic Congress (DC) and other smaller parties took over.

Despite expressing its interest to join the new coalition, its (new coalition) leaders shut the door on AD. Moleleki then had to move to the opposition benches and became leader of opposition. He told Public Eye in May this year that the time had come for a government of national unity saying such a government was what the torn and split country needed. He said it was unlikely that the current coalition government led by Majoro would survive until next election scheduled for next year.

“It is unlikely that the current coalition will survive until next election, but we as AD have said that we would want a government of national unity if this government collapses,” he said. At the time Moleleki made these remarks, government was teetering on the brink of collapse. This was after Professor Nqosa Mahao broke away with several Members of Parliament (MPs) from ABC to form his own party, the Basotho Action Party (BAP).

Mahao was deputy leader of ABC before he left the party. Mapesela, an MP for Mokhotlong constituency, had also left ABC and formed BPP. These defections significantly reduced ABC’s numerical strength in parliament. Majoro’s premiership has been overshadowed by widening divisions in the ABC. The divisions were triggered by intensified debate over who will succeed Thabane as party leader and also who will likely take over as prime minister at elections in 2022, given the party’s dominance. Majoro, who was appointed deputy leader when Mahao left the party earlier this year, is seen by others in the party as a candidate for ABC leader.

Party’s secretary-general, Lebohang Hlaele, and chairperson Sam Rapapa are viewed as Majoro’s most likely rivals. They have declared their intention to run.

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