Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Mothetjoa Metsing says Selibe Mochoboroane is still the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, despite his dismissal by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane on Thursday.
According to a statement released by the premier’s Press Secretary, Thabo Thakalekoala, Mr Mochoboroane had been relieved of his ministerial duties with effect from 16 October 2014. The statement did not give reasons for the dismissal, but the Lesotho Times understands the move follows lack of coverage of the prime minister’s activities by the state media, Radio Lesotho and Lesotho Television (LTV), allegedly at the directive of Mr Mochoboroane.
Mr Mochoboroane is the deputy spokesperson of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) led by Mr Metsing, whose fallout with Dr Thabane over the premier’s alleged dictatorial tendencies, led to the country’s current political instability.
The LCD, Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho National Party (BNP) led by Thesele ‘Maseribane formed a coalition government after the 26 May 2012 general election had resulted in a hung parliament. However, following Mr Metsing’s open criticism of Dr Thabane in June this year, and the premier’s decision to suspend parliament for nine months on 10 June 2014 to avoid a no-confidence vote, the coalition government fell apart, prompting the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), among other mediators.
But a day before parliament opened following the SADC-brokered Maseru Facilitation Declaration signed on 2 October, Dr Thabane gave Mr Mochoboroane the boot—much to the surprise of Mr Metsing.
However, Mr Metsing told LTV soon after Mr Mochoboroane’s sacking that his party was not accepting the dismissal.
“We have since presented the matter to the SADC Facilitator to Lesotho, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, who is currently in the country to facilitate the reconvening of Parliament on Friday.
“After receiving Mr Mochoboroane’s expulsion letter, I requested that the process be put on hold as it was not agreed upon by the three parties in government, as per the Coalition Agreement we signed when we formed government.
“We need to maintain peace in Lesotho, so I call upon members of the public to stay calm as the matter is being addressed. Our expectation, as the LCD, is that Mr Mochoboroane remains the Minister of Communications.”
But according to Mr Thakalekoala, the Minister of Education and Training, ‘Makabelo Mosothoane, is now Acting Minister of Communications “until a new minister is appointed”.
A Member of Parliament (MP) for Thabana-Morena Constituency No 52, Mr Mochoboroane was appointed Deputy Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs in June 2012, and became Minister of Communications, Science and Technology in December 2013.