Majoro moves to fire PS Phapano


Bereng Mpaki

COMMUNICATIONS, Science and Technology principal secretary Tankiso Phapano has been sent on indefinite leave pending the outcome of talks to finalise his dismissal by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.

The leave, which is with effect from 1 June 2021, was communicated to him on that same day by the Government Secretary Lerotholi Pheko.

“Following the meeting whereby I informed you of the intention of the Prime Minister to terminate your appointment as Principal Secretary, and your letter dated 31 May, 2021 accepting to get into negotiations, please proceed on leave, effective from today 1 June 2021 with full benefits accruing to your position as Principal Secretary, until an agreement has been reached,” Mr Pheko states in his letter titled “Notice of intention to terminate your appointment as principal secretary”.

“You are therefore requested to hand over the administration of the office to the deputy principal for the day to day operations of the ministry in your absence,” Mr Pheko adds.

On his part, Mr Phapano told said he had accepted Dr Majoro’s offer to “buy” him out his contract which was due to expire in July 2022. He said he appreciated that Dr Majoro has to work with people he can trust.

“The prime minister approached me to buy out my contract and I have accepted the offer as I understand that the prime minister has to work with people he feels he can trust,” Mr Phapano said when asked about claims in some quarters that he was being pushed out because he is an ally of Professor Nqosa, the former deputy leader of Dr Majoro’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party.

Prof Mahao, who also served as Justice and Law minister, was fired from cabinet by Dr Majoro in April 2021. This after he had announced plans to form his own Basotho Action Party (BAP). He had also accused Dr Majoro of conniving with ABC leader Thomas Thabane and party secretary general Lebohang Hlaele to plot his ouster from the ABC.

Dr Majoro also fired other Mahao allies namely, Motlatsi Maqelepo (Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation), ‘Mamoipone Senauoane, (Police and Public Safety) and former Deputy Minister Health minister Nto Moakhi.

Before that he had fired then Agriculture and Food Security Minister Tefo Mapesela after the latter had said he should finish his term and step aside to allow Prof Mahao to lead the ABC in next year’s elections.

Despite his pronouncements, Mr Mapesela did not join Prof Mahao as expected. He later formed his own Basotho Patriotic Party after falling out with Prof Mahao.

In his year-old tenure, Dr Majoro has shown that he is not averse to wielding the axe.

He has also fired Keketso Rantšo (Labour and Employment) and Prince Maliehe (Defence and National Security).

Several other principal secretaries who were appointed by former Prime Minister Thabane have also fallen by the wayside since Dr Majoro took over on 20 May 2021.



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