DEFENCE and National Security Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi has dismissed allegations that a Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) senior member, Brigadier Ramanka Mokaloba, was fired from his post last week over differences with army commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli.
Speculation has been rife this week that Lt-Gen Kamoli had served Brig Mokaloba with a dismissal letter. It has been further alleged that Brig Mokaloba declined to accept the letter citing Lt-Gen Kamoli’s own refusal to be fired by former premier Thomas Thabane in 2014.
An audio recording which has gone viral on social media from an unidentified soldier, who claims to have intimate knowledge of the matter, quotes the soldier as claiming that he had seen Brig Mokaloba’s dismissal letter.
Said the recording: “Bo-ntate it is true that Mokaloba has been served with a dismissal letter. LDF authorities want Mokaloba out because they are scared that he will expose their deals when Kamoli leaves the institution.
“The move to dismiss Mokaloba is just to save Kamoli’s skin and it is illegal because they are just dismissing him without any disciplinary hearing. They can’t just boot him out without any reason. His position is not like that of a commander where he can be booted out by His Majesty King Letsie III on the advice of the Prime Minister.”
But Mr Mokhosi dismissed the claims, including allegations that Brig Mokaloba had been shot during an altercation with other soldiers who wanted him to leave the LDF, as nonsense being dispatched by people who want to see the LDF “degenerating into tatters”.
“There is no such thing, I have never seen either the dismissal or any long leave of absence letter for Brig Mokaloba,” said the minister in an interview this week.
“Brig Mokaloba is still a soldier and will not be dismissed because he is a disciplined and loyal soldier.”
The minister also dismissed rampant social media information that he had a secret meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Lt-Gen Kamoli to plan Brig Mokaloba’s dismissal.
“This is just a campaign by a certain group of people who want to see the LDF in tatters and who want to tarnish the image of my leader, Mr Metsing. Issues of dismissals are dealt with by me, the army commander, the Prime Minister and His Majesty the King in a transparent way and not at some alleged secret meetings.”
Mr Mokhosi also said he is aware of claims that Brig Mokaloba was shot and said he was dismissing them with the contempt they deserve: “Ntate Mokaloba was never shot; he is still healthy without any gunshot wounds.”
Efforts to get a comment from Brigadier Mokaloba failed yesterday.