OPPOSITION ALLIANCE of Democrats (AD) leader Monyane Moleleki has accused the Moeketsi Majoro-led government of maladministration.
Mr Moleleki, who served as deputy prime minister in the previous Thomas Thabane-led government, also predicted that the government would collapse before the end of its tenure in 2022.
Addressing hundreds of AD supporters at a rally early this week in Mohale’s Hoek, Mr Moleleki said the government had become dysfunctional because of the self-serving tendencies of its leaders.
“We are not insulting Majoro and (Basotho National Party deputy leader) Machesetsa (Mofomobe) but the truth is that they are governing us badly,” Mr Moleleki said.
“The Americans are winding up their business in Lesotho because Machesetsa addresses them as though they are small boys. He told them they can leave because the BNP have new friends in North Korea. The minute you mention North Korea to the Americans, you are insulting them.
“America used to give Lesotho monetary aid because the country was well governed but just watch and see if this government will get any assistance because Majoro and Mokhothu are misgoverning us.
“The only reason why (Mokhothu’s) Democratic Congress is part of this government is to enable it to misuse the government vehicle fleet and fuel for canvassing for votes (in next year’s elections). They are not at all interested in service delivery.”
His comments were however, dismissed by Mr Mofomobe as the “rumblings” of an old man who had “overstayed” his time politics.
“He (Moleleki) should stop lying. He is one of the people who have caused instability in this country since 1993.
“The Americans have since last year spoken of their intention to downsize their operations in Lesotho and this has nothing to do with me.
“I think Ntate Moleleki has overstayed in politics. He should be sitting at home by now. The premature collapse of the previous government cost him the pension he could have received for being deputy prime minister and this has probably driven him insane. He is old and has been through a lot. He has problems which have driven him insane. His mind is dysfunctional,” Mr Mofomobe told this publication.
DC deputy leader Motlalentoa Letsosa echoed similar sentiments, saying Mr Moleleki’s comments lacked “sense and logic”.
“We are not going to stoop to Mr Moleleki’s level. It seems he has completely lost it.
“There is no logic in his claims that the DC is misusing the government fleet for political campaigns. Well, he is a politician but his comments show that the mighty have indeed fallen. He has completely lost it and has run out of tricks,” Mr Letsosa said.
Mr Moleleki also touched on the botched 2018 M1, 7 billion solar energy deal between the previous Thabane administration and German company, Frazer Solar, for the supply of solar water heating systems, solar power capacity, LED lights and solar lanterns.
The Lesotho government has had some of its foreign assets seized to pay off more than £50 million (M856 million) in damages awarded to Frazer Solar for breaching the agreement.
Mr Moleleki, who was deputy prime minister at the time of the deal, said the government was now paying for agreeing the deal without consulting the Finance ministry which was then headed by Dr Majoro.
He said the government was also paying for its repeated failure to attend the arbitration hearings in South Africa which resulted in a default judgement in favour of Frazer Solar in January 2020.
He warned that the seizure of government assets, including water royalties from the sale of water to South Africa under the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), would strain its finances and affect its ability to pay civil servants’ salaries.
Mr Moleleki also took a swipe at the government for ignoring the plight of factory workers who have gone two years without wage increments.
Two workers have died, one of them after allegedly being shot by police when employees went on a violent strike last month. The workers began trooping back to work this week after threats of dismissal by their employers.
Dr Majoro has also appealed for patience as the government engages the workers and employers over a new minimum wage. He said a minimum wage gazette will be issued next week after the completion of the talks.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Moleleki said, “we hope that the government will meet the workers’ demands soon and issue the (new minimum wage gazette)”.
Despite urging his supporters to refrain from attacking rival parties, Mr Moleleki still attacked some ABC officials for pushing for the AD’s exclusion from the current government. He said this was despite that he was instrumental in negotiating Mr Thabane’s return from exile to participate in the 2017 elections. Mr Thabane had gone into exile in fear of his life in 2015.
“Today we have been excluded from government by some members of the ABC who don’t like us. They have even forgotten that we are the ones who brought back their leader from the Boers’ wheat fields where he was suffering from the cold,” Mr Moleleki said. He also said he expected his party to win next year’s elections.