Forestry minister Motsie resigns
…denies claims that she was forced to resign after falling out with the First Lady
THE Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation ‘Mamotsie Motsie has resigned with effect from tomorrow due to ill-health.
Ms Motsie yesterday confirmed her resignation in an interview with the Lesotho Times. She also denied rumours that she had been forced to resign after falling out with the First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane.
Ms Motsie’s resignation was initially by the office of the Government Secretary, Moahloli Mphaka.
“The office of the Government Secretary wishes to inform the nation and the public that on Wednesday 22 August 2018, the Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, accepted the resignation of the Honourable Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation Mamotsie Motsie on grounds of unstable health.
“The Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry Tefo Mapesela will act in the vacancy created by Honourable Motsie’s departure until a new substantive appointment is made.
“Honourable Motsie will remain as a member of the senate, to which she was appointed at the formation of the current coalition government in June 2017,” the government secretary’s office said in the statement that was issued yesterday.
Yesterday, some sources within the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) told the Lesotho Times that Ms Motsie was forced to resign from her position after falling out with the First Lady. The sources however, did not say what caused the ‘fallout’.
“Mme Mamotsie is no longer on good terms with the First Lady and she was advised to resign from her ministerial position or risk the embarrassment of being fired like Ntate (Motlohi) Maliehe (who was fired last week from his post as Tourism minister),” one source said.
Another source said Ms Motsie “is no longer considered as a close ally of the First Lady and she had to go”.
Ms Motsie however, refuted allegations of a rift with Ms Thabane. Instead, she said it took her time to come to the decision to resign from the cabinet and that the decision was carefully taken.
“It is true that I resigned and this has nothing to do with the First Lady. I sat down with my family, discussed the matter and they gave me their blessing to resign because of health issues and other family commitments that need my attention given that I am a widow
“People like to spice up every political development in this country and I am not surprised that they are now making up stories about why I resigned. I resigned out of my own volition and my decision was never influenced by anyone expect my family and I. My relationship with the First Lady is still intact and just now (yesterday) we were talking.
“I do not have any reason to lie and if indeed our relationship was sour and had influenced my decision to resign, I would tell you straight away,” Ms Motsie told this publication.