MASERU – His Majesty King Letsie III will for the first time be hosting Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro and the new cabinet today at the Royal Palace in Maseru. Majoro was sworn in on Wednesday last week while the rest of the new cabinet was sworn in the following day, with a few posts outstanding.
This was after the coalition of government of former Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane collapsed in parliament compelling him to resign. It is not publicly known what the King is going to discuss with the cabinet as the meeting is private. Although the King is politically neutral, he has the right to be consulted by the prime minister and other ministers on all matters relating to his government. The executive authority of Lesotho is vested in the King, and is exercised through officers or authorities of the government.
The constitution obliges the prime minister to keep the King fully informed concerning the general conduct of the government and to furnish him with such information as he may request “in respect of any particular matter relating to the government.” “This is to advise that the new Cabinet is to have an audience with His Majesty King Letsie III at 10:00am on Friday the 29th May, 2010,” King’s senior private secretary, Monehela Posholi, wrote to the Government Secretary (GS) Moahloli Mphaka on Wednesday.
Posholi stated that “the said private audience with His Majesty will be held at the Banqueting Hall of the Royal Palace”. “We will be most obliged if you could remind The Rt. Hon. The Prime Minister and advise Hon. Ministers and Deputy Minister about this important session,” he added. Contacted for comment yesterday, government spokesperson Nthakeng Selinyane would not say much except to emphasis the meeting was private and had not been publicised by government.
Efforts to get a comment from the Government Secretary also drew a blank as his mobile phone rang unanswered. Earlier this week, voice note went viral on social media with one of the new ministers hurling insults at disgruntled Members of Parliament who have not been appointed to cabinet. Public Eye could not independently verify the note by the time of publishing.
In United Kingdom for example, ministers are directed by the Ministerial Code – a document setting out rules and standards for ministers – to behave in a way that upholds the highest standards of propriety. In South Africa, ministers’ conduct is expected to meet the satisfaction of the President and act in all respects in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of their office or the government.
In Lesotho, however, there is no specific code of conduct for ministers although there is a code of conduct for public officers which is viewed primarily as a guide to all public officers in their relationships and in dealing with their employer and the general public. The code states that a public officer “shall refrain from use of insulting or intimidating words to the authority, fellow public officer or members of the public or from showing disrespect to any of them”.