By Letuka Chafotsa
MASERU — Former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has been without an official vehicle for a month after the car had to be taken for repairs following a breakdown.
Mosisili made the revelation during his 69th birthday celebrations held at Khali Hotel last Friday, which was attended by scores of Democratic Congress (DC) supporters and other well-wishers.
The DC leader said after his official car was taken away, government did not provide him with alternative transport, contrary to the country’s constitution.
“I’ve had to use an ordinary 4×4 vehicle to get around since my official car was taken to the garage and the government has not provided an alternative vehicle,” Mosisili said.
According to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (Retirement and Spouses’ Benefits) Act 2010, as former premier, Mosisili is entitled to a chauffeur-driven government vehicle, among a host of other perks.
Mosisili said he hoped when current Prime Minister Thomas Thabane retires, he would be accorded better treatment.
“When Ntate Thabane retires, he should be provided with alternative transport whenever his official vehicle has problems,” Mosisili said.
However, the DC Youth League chairperson Thuso Litjobo told the Lesotho Times this was not the first time Mosisili has been without an official vehicle.
“Most of the time when his car is taken for service or repairs, he has to go for weeks without an alternative, government vehicle,” Litjobo said.
The DC secretary-general Ralechate ‘Mokose, on his part, said he was shocked to hear Mosisili saying he did not have an official car despite the law stipulating clearly a chauffeur-driven vehicle was part of his benefits.
“One would expect that he would be given another vehicle until such a time that his has been fixed,” ‘Mokose said.
“But I can assure you that when we return to government, we will do things differently and adhere strictly to the law.”
Contacted for comment, cabinet’s Principal Secretary — Economic Affairs, Sam Rapapa said if it was true that Mosisili did not have an official vehicle, “then it is wrong”.
“It’s not supposed to happen like that as there has to be an arrangement for him to use another government vehicle while his car is being repaired or serviced,” Rapapa said.
Meanwhile, cabinet’s Principal Secretary for Administration, ‘Mataeli Makhele-Sekhantšo, confirmed Mosisili’s car broke down last month and had to be taken for repairs.
“The report we have is that the former Prime Minister’s chauffeur took the car to Avis for repairs without first reporting to us about its problem,” Makhele-Sekhantšo said.
“They should have notified us so that we could provide another car.”
Makhele-Sekhanšo further said her office would immediately provide a replacement vehicle.
“The former Prime Minister should, by law, be given such an official car,” Makhele-Sekhantšo said.
However, on Litjobo’s allegations that Mosisili has had to go without an official vehicle on several occasions, Makhele-Sekhantšo said: “I am not aware that this is not the first time this has happened.”