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A look back at 2019

Compiled by Herbert Moyo

January 2019

ABC and DC infighting

MUCH like the year before, 2019 was very eventful in the history of Lesotho. The year started off with increasing tensions within two of the country’s biggest political parties, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and the then Pakalitha Mosisili-led Democratic Congress (DC). Both parties were about to hold elective conferences to choose new national executive committees (NECs).

In the ABC, the fight was over whether then National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice Chancellor, Professor Nqosa Mahao should be allowed to contest the deputy leader’s post. He was nominated by the ABC’s Koro-Koro Constituency Committee which was then suspended by the party’s outgoing NEC for refusing to withdraw his nomination.

Dr Mosisili’s retirement from the DC leadership created some tensions within the party between supporters of then deputy leader Mathibeli Mokhothu and then  deputy secretary general Tlohang Sekhamane who threw their hats into the contest to succeed the former prime minister.

Peace and stability were soon restored to the DC when Mr Sekhamane graciously conceded defeat in the elections which were held in January.

But conflict continued in the ABC where the Koro-Koro Constituency Committee stuck by its nomination of Prof Mahao and even filed a court application challenging its suspension and the then NEC’s refusal to accept the nomination of Prof Mahao.

Thabane savages Mahao, then issues apology

Prime Minister and leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Thomas Thabane, savaged Professor Nqosa Mahao, saying the latter was “just a rag” who should not be elected to deputise him.

Addressing scores of party members at a rally in his Ha Abia constituency in Maseru, Dr Thabane vowed his party’s faithful would not elect Prof Mahao to succeed him at the helm of the ruling party. He said Prof Mahao was not even a member of the ABC and challenged backers of the then National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice-Chancellor to leave the ABC and join in a new party the Prime Minister alleges Prof Mahao has started.

A day later, the premier apologised for the blistering attack, saying he had used “harsh words” on Prof Mahao which were “not acceptable”. Despite the apology the stage had been set for the fallout and power struggle between the duo which continues into 2020.

I want to be PM until 2027: Thabane

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announced that he wants to remain in office until 2027 when he will only be two years shy of the ripe old age of 90.

The next general elections are due in 2022 and Dr Thabane vowed to contest them for another term in office. If he gets his wish, Dr Thabane who turned 80 in May 2019, will be 83 then. Should he win in 2022, he will be 88 when he completes that term.

First foreign judge jets in

Zimbabwean judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, became the first foreign judge to arrive in Lesotho to preside over the politically sensitive criminal cases involving politicians and members of the security agencies.

Justice Hungwe was sworn in on by the Acting Chief Justice, ‘Maseforo Mahase, and immediately got down to work by presiding over two cases including that of eight soldiers who stand accused of murdering army commander, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao on 25 June 2015.

Business mogul Nthane shoots driver dead

Business mogul Tšeliso Nthane of Nthane Brothers Pty (Ltd) was slapped with murder charges for shooting and killing one of his employees in ‘Moteng in the Butha-Buthe district on 10 January 2019.

Mr Nthane was hospitalised with hypertension in the aftermath of the shooting incident which has sent shockwaves around the country.

According to a police report, Mr Nthane whose businesses spans the construction, property development and other sectors, shot and killed his 51-year-old truck driver, Kopang Mohapi of Qacha’s Nek. This after Mr Mohapi had been involved in a road accident at the Moteng Pass, about 171 kilometres from Maseru, while transporting construction machinery to Polihali in Mokhotlong for the Nthane Brothers Company which was recently awarded a massive road construction tender for the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).

ABC expels Prof Mahao

The All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s national executive committee (NEC) expelled Professor Nqosa Mahao from the ABC for taking the party to court over its decision to disqualify him from contesting the deputy leader’s post.

Then ABC secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, said the National University of Lesotho (NUL) vice-chancellor had automatically expelled himself from the party by dragging it before the courts to challenge his disqualification from contesting the deputy leader’s post.

February 2019

Mahao wins ABC leadership contest

Professor Nqosa Mahao became the new deputy leader of the ABC after powering to victory at the party’s drama-filled elective conference on 1 and 2 February 2019 in Maseru.

Prof Mahao polled 671 votes to beat his nearest challenger, Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro who garnered 524 votes.

Others who took part in the much-hyped contest were the former incumbent, Public Works and Transport minister Prince Maliehe who got 236 votes and former party chairperson, Motlohi Maliehe, who obtained a measly 89 votes.

It was a sweet victory for Prof Mahao who had an 11th hour Court of Appeal order to thank for his place among the contestants. He said his initial disqualification from the party’s elections was part of a “big conspiracy” by his rivals who were hell bent on delivering a pre-emptive “technical knockout blow on a very competitive candidate”.

Forgive Nthane: Mosisili

Former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili pleaded for forgiveness on behalf of businessman, Tšeliso Nthane, who shot and killed his driver Kopang Mohapi.

Dr Mosisili begged the family of Mr Mohapi to forgive Mr Nthane while addressing mourners at the deceased’s funeral in White Hill, Qacha’s Nek district.

Court interdicts new ABC committee

Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase granted an interim order barring the newly elected NEC of the ABC from assuming the office until the main application seeking the nullification of their election is finalised.

Justice Mahase granted the interim order following an application by Ministers Habofanoe Lehana, Keketso Sello (Mining) and the ABC’s legislator for the Rothe constituency, Mohapi Mohapinyane.

The trio want the court to nullify the election of Professor Nqosa Mahao and others to the party’s NEC. They also want the court to order fresh elections within three months of the finalisation of their court application.

Ministers Doti, Hlaele fired

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fired Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Minister Lebohang Hlaele and his Social Development counterpart, ‘Matebatso Doti.

The Prime Minister did not give reasons for his decision, which is effective from 18 February 2019.  But the Lesotho Times was authoritatively informed that the duo has been axed over their support of Professor Nqosa Mahao at the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s recent elective conference.

DCEO boss booted out

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane sent the Director-General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO,) Advocate Borotho Matsoso, on forced leave pending the expiry of his contract on 30 June 2019.

The four-months forced leave meant that Advocate Matsoso’s tenure at the helm of the anti-corruption agency, which began in June 2013, was effectively over as his contract was not be renewed.

The premier did not give reasons for the move which has shocked Adv Matsoso.  He told the Lesotho Times that the decision was made after he wrote to the government expressing his desire to have his contract renewed.

America warns of threats to second MCC compact

The United States (US) ambassador to Lesotho, Rebecca Gonzales, warned that Lesotho risks losing out on the multi-million-dollar second compact under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) due to concerns about “unacceptable” corruption and police brutality against citizens.

Ms Gonzales also warned of a “delay or derailment (of the second compact) if we do not continue purposefully on the path of reforms and political stability”.

She issued the warning during a ceremony to mark the signing of a US$5, 78 million (about M82 million) grant to assist Lesotho in the processes towards the development of the second MCC compact.

Kamoli, Mokhosi constitutional challenge stalls murder trials

THE pre-trial conferences of politicians and members of the different security agencies were put on hold pending the outcome of the constitutional application challenging the legality of the appointment of the foreign judges.

The constitutional application was made by the murder-accused former Defence minister Tšeliso Mokhosi, former army commander Tlali Kamoli and 14 other members of the different security agencies.

March 2019

State House used to plot my assassination: Hlaele

Former Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Minister Lebohang Hlaele sensationally claimed that a plot to assassinate him was hatched at the State House, the official residence of the Prime Minister, on 2 February 2019.

Thabane attacks Court of Appeal, Mahao

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane attacked the Court of Appeal for its 1 February 2019 judgement which enabled Professor Nqosa Mahao to contest in the ruling ABC’s national executive committee elections.

Dr Thabane accused the apex court of meddling in the party’s affairs and warned that the alleged interference could split the ABC if its members did not urgently come up with internal remedies to their own differences.

ABC talks collapse, NEC factions back in court

THE feuding national executive committee (NEC) factions of the ruling ABC returned to the High Court after the lapse of the 13-day period they had been given by the court to negotiate a deal to resolve their struggle for the control of the party.

The talks failed to kick-off as the old and newly elected NECs refused to budge from their respective positions.

April 2019

PM ‘dodges bullet’ as parly is indefinitely adjourned

PARLIAMENT was indefinitely suspended amid widespread speculation the move was aimed at staving off a possible vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane while creating time for him to resolve the intestine power struggle within his All Basotho Convention.

LRA meets revenue target

THE Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA), under the leadership of Commissioner General Thabo Khasipe, met its revenue collection targets for the first time in two years.

The tax authority collected and remitted to the government M6, 984 billion which was M114 million more than the set target of M6, 869 billion for the 2018/19 financial year.

Magistrates go on strike again

Magistrates embarked on their second strike action in less than a year, a move that paralyzed justice delivery in the lower courts.

The magistrates, who are unhappy with the government’s failure to address their long-standing demands for higher salaries and better working conditions, also wrote to Acting Chief JusticeMaseforo Mahase, asking her to urgently convene a constitutional court sitting to adjudicate over what they say is “the unconstitutional scenario” in which they are treated as civil servants in violation of the separation of powers edict between the three arms of government; the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

Chief Theko demands Thabane’s ouster

PRIME Minister and All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane should be immediately recalled from his government and party posts, the Thaba-Bosiu Principal Chief, Khoabane Theko, demanded.

The outspoken Chief Theko, who is also the senate chief whip, said the ruling ABC should convene a special conference to recall Dr Thabane whom he accuses of ceding control of both the party and the governing coalition government to his wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane.

Defiant IEC commissioners sue govt

Then embattled Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) commissioners lodged a High Court application to compel the government to reverse its decision not to renew their contracts and instead ensure that their tenure is extended by another five years. 

May 2019

Army prisoners probed over national security breaches

THE army, police, prisons and intelligence service investigated what they called a major breach of national security after a mobile phone was smuggled into the prison cell of murder-accused army officer, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, allegedly by his wife. The phone was then used to facilitate communication between Captain Nyakane and his fellow inmates and unnamed senior government officials and prominent politicians.

Prisoners are prohibited from keeping cellphones or any other communication devices in their cells.   Captain Nyakane’s wife, Mampho, has since been declared a threat to national security over her alleged role in smuggling the phone into the prison in November 2018.

ABC talks collapse again as NEC factions dig in

Negotiations between the warring old and new national executive committees of the ruling All Basotho Convention collapsed. The spokesperson of the new NEC, Montoeli Masoetsa, attributed the collapse of the talks to the two factions’ failure to agree on an agenda for the negotiations that are aimed at resolving the infighting which threatens to split the Thomas Thabane-led party and collapse the almost two year-old government.

Mahase drops ABC bombshell

THE battle for the heart and soul of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) took a dramatic twist after the Acting Chief Justice, ‘Maseforo Mahase, nullified the party’s 1 and 2 February 2019 elective conference which ushered in Professor Nqosa Mahao and others to the ABC’s national executive committee (NEC).

Justice Mahase delivered the default judgement in an ex parte (one sided) application that was filed in the High Court on Tuesday and moved by Advocate Thulo Hoeane on behalf of his clients, Motseki Lefera, ’Matumisang Ntiisa and Martha Makhohlisa.

Justice Mahase in angry response to critics

Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase threatened legal action against the supporters of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC), the opposition Democratic Congress (DC) and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) who staged a protest march to demand her ouster.

In an unprecedented show of unity, supporters of the three parties coalesced under the banner of the Voice of the Voiceless Association (VOVA), a civil society organisation and marched from Sethaleng Sa Mopapa to the High Court in Maseru to demand Justice Mahase for allegedly being a willing tool of the government in its alleged quest to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

Mapesela blasts security chiefs

Then Defence and National Security Minister Tefo Mapesela launched a blistering attack on Water Minister Samonyane Ntsekele and the three top security chiefs; Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander Mojalefa Letsoela, Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli and National Security Service (NSS) boss Pheello Ralenkoane.

In a no holds barred interview, the outspoken minister accused the security chiefs of refusing to take lawful orders and engaging in actions that he said could collapse the current democratically elected government. He also accused them of “badmouthing” him to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Mahase savages Mosito

The age-old battle for supremacy between the offices of the chief justice and the president of the Court of Appeal was re-ignited with full fury. This after the under-fire Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase attacked Court of Appeal President Justice Kananelo Mosito, accusing him of undermining her and usurping the powers of the office of the chief justice.

June 2019

Thabane faces ouster

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s grip on power was left hanging by a thread after a parliamentary no confidence motion was filed against him.

The motion was filed by All Basotho Convention (ABC) legislator for Koro-Koro constituency, Motebang Koma. It was immediately seconded by the Democratic Congress (DC)’s deputy leader Motlalentoa Letsosa.

Mr Koma proposed that the ABC’s Mosalemane constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Samuel Rapapa, takes over as caretaker prime minister, presumably pending processes that would lead Professor Nqosa Mahao to assume the reins of power.

Major victory for Mahao

Professor Nqosa Mahao and his faction won the long-drawn out battle for the control of the ruling All Basotho Convention. This after the High Court dismissed an application by three ABC legislators seeking to nullify the Mahao group’s election into the party’s national executive committee (NEC) at its February 2019 elective conference.

Prominent ABC legislators, Habofanoe Lehana (Khafung constituency), Keketso Sello (Hlotse) and Mohapi Mohapinyane (Rothe) had filed the application seeking the nullification of the election of Prof Mahao and others, claiming the polls were marred by gross irregularities including “massive vote rigging”.

Thabane dodges no confidence vote

Parliament was adjourned indefinitely amid widespread speculation that this was done to stave off a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane by disgruntled members of his own All Basotho Convention party and the opposition.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Sephiri Motanyane, announced the indefinite closure of the august house but did not give reasons why it had been adjourned.

Thabane sued for contempt of court

The new national executive committee of the All Basotho Convention, fronted by Professor Nqosa Mahao, sued party leader and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane for contempt of court after he “expelled” several of its senior officials instead of heeding a High Court judgement legitimizing them.

Thotanyana dumps LCD

Former Mining Minister Lebohang Thotanyana cut ties with the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), accusing the Mothejoa Metsing-led party of abandoning its founding principles of democracy.

Mr Thotanyana told this publication that he had decided to part ways with the LCD after the party’s persistent failure to elect a new national executive committee (NEC) in line with its constitution and democratic practices. The LCD should have held its elective conference in February this year.

Ntsekele accused of plotting Thabane’s ouster

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s children accused former All Basotho Convention (ABC) secretary general Samonyane Ntsekele of feigning loyalty to the premier while plotting his ouster with opposition Lesotho Congress of Lesotho (LCD) leader Mothejoa Metsing.

The sensational claims were contained in a recent leaked telephone conversation between Dr Thabane’s daughter, Advocate ‘Mabatṧoeneng Hlaele, and her brother Potlako Thabane, which went viral on social media.

I have no ministerial ambitions: Metsing

Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader Mothetjoa Metsing reiterated his call for a government of national unity (GNU) to lead the country in the implementation of the multi-sector reforms process that are seen as crucial to transforming the country’s political and economic fortunes.

July 2019

Law Society sues Thabane over Mosito

The Law Society of Lesotho filed an urgent High Court application to halt Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s bid to suspend Court of Appeal President Kananelo Mosito.

Thabane turns on daughter

Livid All Basotho Convention leader and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane hit out at his daughter ‘Mabatṧoeneng Hlaele for taking up the cudgels on behalf of his antagonist, Professor Nqosa Mahao, in the battle for control of the ABC.

The premier also tore into his son-in-law, Lebohang Hlaele, suggesting that he had only entered into a loveless marriage of convenience with his daughter so that he could one day take over the ABC.

Staff Reporter

South Africa’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) confiscated 68 starving and emaciated horses belonging to the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).

The horses were being kept on a small plot in Hobhouse in the Free State, about 131km from Bloemfontein. The farm belongs to the LDF.

700 000 Basotho face severe hunger

While politicians continue bickering over power, Lesotho faces its worst hunger crisis in recent years with at least 600 000 needing urgent food aid by the end of this year.

The figure could increase to more than 700 000 by the time of the next harvest in 2020, according to United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Salvator Niyonzima.

Mosito blasts Thabane

Court of Appeal president Justice Kananelo Mosito came out guns blazing against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, saying the latter’s “unlawful” moves to try and suspend him stem from the bitterness of seeing his faction of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) lose its case against its party rivals in the appeal court.

This followed Dr Thabane’s 5 July 2019 letter to Justice Mosito demanding that the apex court boss “show cause” why he should not be suspended and impeached for allegedly interfering with the administrative functions ofActing Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase.

August 2019 

Mahao faction in court bid to oust Justice Mahase

“Expelled” All Basotho Convention (ABC) Secretary General, Lebohang Hlaele, filed a Constitutional Court application for an order to compel the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to recommend the removal of Acting Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase.

Mr Hlaele wants Justice Mahase removed from her post on the grounds that she breached the section 118 (2) of the national constitution by interfering with Court of Appeal President Justice Kananelo Mosito’s duties. Section 118 (2) of the constitution states that “the courts shall, in the performance of their functions, be independent and free from interference”.

Minister, MCC clash over graft claims

Then Local Government and Chieftainship minister Litšoane Litšoane accused councillors and officials of the Maseru City Council (MCC) of effectively stealing M3, 5 million meant for development projects to pay themselves loans and salary advances.

Mr Litšoane said the illegal diversion of funds had badly affected the council’s cash flows to the extent that the MCC was unable to pay its employees their July 2019 salaries. As a result, the ministry had to divert M500 000 meant for an electrification project to help pay those salaries.

Rape charges against former minister withdrawn

A former minister accused of raping a 17 year old orphan  is now free after negotiating an out of court deal to build a house for the victim and pay her M1000 in monthly maintenance in a seemingly corrupt judicial settlement condemned by  top legal experts.

The former minister in question is Mootsi Lehata, who served in the Law and Constitutional Affairs portfolio, under the previous seven parties’ coalition of then Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili which reigned between March 2015 and June 2017. He stands accused of raping and impregnating the 17 year old in Matsieng in January 2018.

But instead of standing trial for the alleged offence, Mr Lehata has negotiated the controversial deal to evade trial. The deal was endorsed by southern region Chief Magistrate Manyathela Kolobe. 

Thabane can be ousted: Attorney General

The Nqosa Mahao-led faction of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and their opposition allies received a massive boost from the Attorney General, Advocate Haae Phoofolo, in their quest to topple ABC leader and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. This after Adv Phoofolo issued a legal opinion saying they were within their rights to file a no confidence motion against the embattled premier.

Govt ends LWC’s wool and mohair monopoly

The government awarded new licences for the brokering and auctioning of wool and mohair to five companies, including South African brokers, BKB.

Two South African companies, namely BKB and OVK (CMW) and three local companies, Maluti Wool and Mohair Centre, Highlands Veterinary Services were granted licences to broker and auction wool and mohair.

Another local company, Frasers, was licenced to engage in the shearing and bulk storage of wool and mohair. 

September 2019 

Mahao takes over ABC leadership  

All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader, Professor Nqosa Mahao, has “taken over” from “suspended” ABC leader Thomas Thabane.

Dr Thabane was “suspended” at the party’s 7 September 2019 special conference for six years for alleged “uncomely behaviour” and sowing divisions within the fractious ruling party. The premier’s suspension along with deputy secretary general, Nkaku Kabi, is the latest incident in the long-running battle for control of the ruling party between Prof Mahao and Dr Thabane.

October 2019

 I want to be prime minister in any GNU, Metsing declares

Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, dropped a bombshell, telling LCD supporters in Butha-Buthe that he will not settle for anything less than the post of prime minister in a government of national unity (GNU) with current Prime Minister Thomas Dr Thabane.

Moleleki speaks on ABC power struggle

Deputy Prime Minister and Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader, Monyane Moleleki, finally broke his silence over the infighting in the All Basotho Convention (ABC) of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, saying he was doing all he can to save the lead party in the coalition from imploding.

Doctors suspend emergency services

Doctors indefinitely suspended critical emergency services at all government hospitals to protest the government’s failure to address their demands for the provision of adequate medical equipment to enable them to do their work.

The doctors are also protesting the government’s failure to increase their allowances for working outside the normal hours.

Legislators flex muscles against PM

In a rare show of unity, legislators across the political divide joined forces to unanimously endorse opposition legislator Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane’s motion calling for the amendment of the constitution to strip the prime minister of his arbitrary powers to dissolve parliament.

November 2019

Judge Monapathi speaks

Senior High Court judge and former acting chief justice, Tšeliso Monapathi, criticised politicians for undermining the independence of the judiciary for their own selfish political ends.

The impeachment of different judges by different Prime Ministers in recent years best exemplified the quest by politicians to muzzle judges, Justice Monapathi said.

Magistrates sue govt over “poor salaries and benefits”

The gloves are officially off after the country’s restive magistrates sued the government for failing to adequately remunerate them and guarantee their independence from the executive.

In their stinging unprecedented Constitutional Court application, the magistrates accuse the government of destroying their “morale, enthusiasm and passion” through its failure to adequately remunerate them and to allocate sufficient funding to enable them to discharge their duties.

Mokhothu criticises govt’s debt culture

Democratic Congress (DC) leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu, criticised the Thomas Thabane administration for worsening the country’s debt burden to fund vanity projects.

Mr Mokhothu gave the example of the M2, 4 billion loan which the government recently contracted for the construction of a sports facilities for the Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games to be hosted by Lesotho next year.

Thabane must retire: daughter

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s daughter, Advocate ‘Mabatṧoeneng Hlaele, issued an impassioned plea to First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane and other senior All Basotho Convention (ABC) and government officials to allow the veteran leader to retire from office saying he had become an international embarrassment.

Motanyane rejects no confidence motion against Thabane

Speaker of Parliament Sephiri Motanyane threw out a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane saying it has no basis in law and parliamentary practice.

But members of parliament bidding to oust Thabane lambasted the Speaker’s “biased” action and vowed to reject his ruling and restore the motion using parliamentary procedures and regulations.

December 2019

Ministers accuse Mochoboroane of treason

Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing Minister, Chalane Phori, and Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Machesetsa Mofomobe, have accused opposition Movement for Economic Change (MEC) leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, of treason against the first government of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in 2014.

Massive victory for Mahao and allies

All Basotho Convention (ABC) Deputy Leader, Nqosa Mahao, and his allies won a massive victory after High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monapathi, overturned their 17 June 2019 “expulsions” from the fractious ruling party by its leader and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Although the court verdict confirmed Professor Mahao and his allies as the legitimate national executive committee (NEC) of the ABC, their battle with Dr Thabane for control of the ruling party is far from over after some senior ABC officials announced they would not accept them back into the NEC, in apparent defiance of the court order.

Doctors sue govt over allowances and “slave” conditions

Lesotho’s medical doctors filed an urgent Constitutional Court application to compel the government to increase their allowances and improve their working conditions.

The doctors are up in arms with the government for withdrawing their duty allowances paid at the rate of M7, 50 per hour which gave them an average of M600 per month. They want the court to compel the government to pay them allowances at a higher rate of M150 per hour which they consider “a fair return” for their work. They are also demanding monthly housing allowances of M10 000 each and another M10 000 “as managerial or responsibility allowance”.

Tšepong headed for collapse

A top Netcare executive has asked the Lesotho High Court to place the consortium that runs Lesotho’s only referral hospital under urgent judicial management, arguing that a failure to do so would land Lesotho in a “sovereign debt crisis”.

In an application to the court, Netcare General Manager (Finance) Christoffel Smith revealed that the Tšepong Consortium, which runs the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital, is in serious financial distress and owes its creditors more than M320 million. He also warns that the failure to place the hospital under judicial management could result in its collapse.

Thabane suspended again 

The Professor Nqosa Mahao-led faction of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) has upheld the suspension of party leader and Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, and other senior ABC officials from the party for six years, ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa has said.

DC threatens to scuttle budget vote

Opposition Democratic Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu has warned that they will not pass next year’s budget unless the Speaker of Parliament, Sephiri Motanyane, allows them to table and vote on the no confidence motion against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

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