THE ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) has confirmed that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro sought to relocate the country’s trade and investment showcase, the Lesotho National Development Cooperation (LNDC), to his office from the Trade and Industry ministry.
ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa told a local radio station on Tuesday that both the ABC and its main coalition partner, the Democratic Congress (DC), had rejected the move.
The Lesotho Times first published the story last week, quoting sources alleging that the move would have enabled the PM to determine the leadership of the highly prized LNDC. The PM’s office and DC deputy leader Motlalentoa Letsosa had denied the story.
However, Mr Masoetsa essentially confirmed the story was correct in his radio interview.
He said Dr Majoro proposed the move but was rebuffed by both the ABC and DC.
“That proposal (to relocate the LNDC to the PM’s office) was made but both the ABC and the DC turned it down. The LNDC is housed under the Ministry of Trade and Industry which was allocated to the DC and that has to be respected,” Mr Masoetsa said.
He said even though Dr Majoro had made the plea, it could never have been accepted the ABC NEC.
“We have agreed that only ABC members should be deployed to ministries/departments allocated to the party so that it would be easy for parties to take disciplinary action when the need arises. We agreed to that principle with the DC. Therefore, we would not want to take a department that is under a ministry allocated to the DC to be run by the ABC. We would be betraying our commitments,” he said.
Mr Masoetsa said they were nonetheless not aware if there were any vested interests behind Dr Majoro’s wish to relocate the LNDC to his office.
The ABC even made a further disclosure, alleging there had been a prior attempt by Dr Majoro to swap the same ministry for the ABC when the two parties had already completed the allocation of ministries.
“We decided on the allocation of ministries when this government started. We were shocked when the prime minister solely attempted to bypass the agreement, giving the trade ministry to the ABC and the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology to DC. We stopped him and gave back the DC its ministry,” Mr Masoetsa said.