MASERU — The youth league of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party on Saturday petitioned Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili to reshuffle his cabinet and fire incompetent ministers.
The petition urged Mosisili to restructure his cabinet, appoint new assistant ministers and dismiss some government ministers for alleged incompetence.
The petition was drawn up following a routine meeting by the youth league, women’s league and the party’s national executive committee at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre last Saturday.
A member of the LCD youth league national executive said the petition was handed over to the party’s secretary-general, Mothetjoa Metsing, for onward transmission to Mosisili.
Metsing on Monday confirmed receiving the petition on behalf of the prime minister.
He however said he was not aware of the contents of the petition as it was sealed.
The Lesotho Times was this week told that at least nine senior government ministers were said to be on the petition sent to the prime minister.
The youth league member said the league was concerned by the poor performance of government ministers and their principal secretaries.
“The youth are focusing on ministers and their principal secretaries because their offices are actually a breeding ground for corruption,” said the member.
The source said there was consensus within the youth league that some government ministers and principal secretaries were corrupt and had failed to execute their jobs properly.
“The abuse of state funds and property is rife within government ministries. But at the end of the day the public reaps nothing from it all,” said the source.
He said across all ministries principal secretaries’ expenditure went beyond that of ministers and that they exceeded their annual expenses budgets.
“The youth believe it is their duty to ensure transparency in all our ministries. At the official opening of the youth league special conference in May, the prime minister called out to the youth to be vigilant and alert,” said the source.
“He asked them to be the eyes and ears of the government and guard against the abuse of public funds and property.”
The source said the petition had also asked the prime minister to appoint ministers in consultation with members of the LCD national executive committee.
“The youth have also called for the termination of the constitutional practice whereby the prime minister selects members of the cabinet at his own discretion,” said the youth league member.
“They want him to consult with members of the LCD national executive committee before making any appointments.”
He said the committee wanted Mosisili to set up a committee that helps in appointing ministers.
The president of the LCD youth league, Mosala Mojakisane, refused to discuss the contents of the petition.
Mojakisane said he was not at liberty to discuss what transpired during the Saturday meeting, referring the Lesotho Times to Metsing.
Metsing confirmed the existence of the petition but refused to be drawn into discussing its contents.
“We did receive a letter addressed to the prime minister enclosed in a stapled envelope. But I cannot say what its contents were because we did not read it.
“It was passed on to the prime minister. But we are not even in a position to ask him about it because he is currently in Cape Town,” said Metsing.
Metsing said he, like everyone else, was still in the dark regarding the contents of the petition.
“We’ve only been hearing people speculating about the contents of the letter. But I cannot officially refute nor confirm the speculation surrounding its contents. Who knows, maybe some of us do feature in it,” said Metsing.
Metsing said he was doubtful that the petition was a decision of the youth league committee.
He said the president of the youth league called him on Saturday after some youths gathered at the party’s offices in Maseru.
“Obviously he (Mojakisane) did not have the slightest idea what the youth were planning and why,” said Metsing.
Metsing said if the petition was about calling for a cabinet reshuffle the youth league had breached LCD procedures.
“If it really is a petition of that nature, they have gone about it the wrong way. Such complaints should be addressed at constituency level and then develop from there.
“Hopefully it won’t be long before we get a clear picture of what the letter contains,” said Metsing.