Majoro reshuffles cabinet

 ’MAKERESEMESE LETUKA

MASERU – Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro has announced a minor reshuffle of his cabinet, which saw four ministers taking their oath of office at the Royal Palace Banqueting Hall on yesterday morning.

The announcement of the change of guard comes less than three months before the anticipated parliamentary dissolution in the build-up towards the September 2022, general elections.

The reshuffle has been seen as a way of consolidating Majoro’s continued stay in office after the failed motion of no confidence in parliament last month.

The motion was mixed up with the walk-out from government by the leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) with 11 other MPs but they lacked the numbers to collapse the current coalition with DC.

While there were already vacancies in cabinet left after the firing of Nkaku Kabi following his fall-out with the Prime Minister late last year, the new appointments have also been seen as compromising the positing of the ABC partner in government, the DC, who should by principle be gaining more seats in the cabinet but appears content with what they already have and would secure their stay in government until elections.

In the current reshuffle, minister Keketso Sello has been moved from the Ministry of Public Service to the Ministry of Agriculture, while Moshe Leoma moved from the Ministry of Labour and Employment to Local Government.

Lehlohonolo Moramotse has moved from Local Government to Public Service, while former Deputy Minister of Local Government Selemo Mangobe has become the new Minister of Labour.

’Mathabo Phafoli is the new Deputy Minister of Local Government. And, her appointment is largely seen as a reward for her brave decision to stay with the rebel MPs when ABC walked out of government, despite holding the party’s proportional position.

Her decision to stay with the so-called rebel MPs supporting Prime Minister Majoro, has sparked spirited debate about the precedence set in the parliamentary procedures and what should be the rightful precision by the Speaker of the National Assembly.

This has been a much smaller change than Majoro’s previous September 2021 reshuffle which saw several ministers, including Principal Secretaries, changing portfolios. Prior to the September reshuffle, Majoro’s last cabinet rearrangement was on June 2020.

He had, however, fired labour and employment minister, Keketso Rantšo as well as defence and national security minister, Prince Maliehe in February 2021.

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