Lesotho swears-in female parly Deputy Speaker

TEBOHO KHATEBE MOLEFI

MASERU – Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Lebohang Ramohlanka, was on Wednesday elected and sworn-in as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho. Ramohlanka won her election with 61 from a total 110 votes, thumping Mechachane constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Nyapane Kaya, who managed 48 votes; there was one spoiled ballot.

The first ever female Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Ramohlanka replaces Teboho Lehloenya who on Monday lost a vote of confidence in the House – with 58 legislators voting for his removal while 48 voted for his continuation in the position, there was also a single spoiled vote.

Lehloenya fell out of favour with members of the House, which saw All Basotho Convention (ABC) Koro-Koro constituency MP, Tumahole Lerafa, filing a motion of no confidence on June 16 in a move seconded by Mankoe James Maime. Following her swearing-in and oath of allegiance to King Letsie III by the Clerk of the National Assembly Advocate Lebohang Maema, Ramohlanka accepted her election, indicating she “appreciated with humility having previously served the House as Clerk.”

“I am already aware of the strides made in here, and know the challenges facing the House; even before commencement of current National Reform the House had already embarked on own reforms under the former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government. And I note with the same importance the attitude of the present government led by Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro to drive the reforms process to finality,” Ramohlanka noted. “It is also with pride that I am part of the same House that initiated reforms in its workings, and now stands ready to execute the current reforms process. Our main task is to return the nation’s lost hope in good governance and rule of law,” she said.

Welcoming the new Deputy Speaker into the fold, Speaker Sephiri Motanyane noted and appreciated Ramohlanka’s massive experience in very senior administrative positions along her years of service to the country. “She is well travelled, even more than me. She has been the Government Secretary, the Clerk of National Assembly, the country’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom apart from being a teacher like me…she is an all-rounder, a dynamic woman suited for the job and there is no doubt that working jointly with you she will lead us well and be equal to the task,” said the Speaker.

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