PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro has disbanded the National Aids Commission (NAC).
According to sources who spoke to the Lesotho Times on condition of anonymity, Dr Majoro summoned the 10-member board to his offices in Maseru on Friday and verbally informed them of the board’s dissolution.
“He (Dr Majoro) told us that the government had decided to disband the commission because it had been unprocedurally appointed and therefore there were some legal issues that had to be dealt with,” the source said.
“He said once those legal issues had been dealt with, he would inform us of the way forward.
“We had been in suspense regarding our fate as we had heard rumours that he had been planning to dissolve the commission before appointing a new one with members of his All Basotho Convention (ABC) party. The dissolution (of the board) is therefore not a surprise at all,” the source added.
Dr Majoro’s spokesperson Mosito Moqhekoana confirmed that the NAC board had been dissolved and its members were yet to be given letters to that effect.
“According to Section 5 of the National AIDS Commission Act, the commission should consist of five commissioners with different kinds of expertise but this board had 10 members,” Mr Moqhekoana said.
“This means that it has been operating unlawfully more especially because its appointment was never gazetted.
“It is therefore not correct to say the commission has been disbanded to pave way for the appointment of ABC members. Things had to be done by the book,” he added.
The NAC’s mandate is to provide strategic leadership and governance, efficient and effective coordination and management of the HIV/AIDS response aimed at ending the pandemic by 2030.
The outgoing commission was appointed in 2015 during the Pakalitha Mosisili led seven party coalition government.
It comprised of 10 board members from different sectors.
The 10 are Reverend Tšeliso Masemene (chairperson), Keratile Thabana (chief executive officer), Makhabiso Ramphoma (health sector), Malefetsane Liau (traditional doctors), Prince Bereng Seeiso (chiefs), Matšooana Fanana (law sector), Reverend Kenny Ntoane (churches), ‘Maseabata Ramathebane (women’s groups), Mpho Vumbukani (financial institutions) and ‘Manako Tetsoane (youths).