Opposition says govt will collapse after SADC inquiry
The opposition alliance is foreseeing a general election at the conclusion of the on-going Southern African Development Community (SADC) Commission of Inquiry “because there won’t be a government anymore”.
Addressing thousands of party supporters at a joint-rally in Mohale’s Hoek on Sunday, the leadership of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) said some ministers and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) officials who are being “exposed” through the probe could end up being arrested or forced to resign in disgrace, leaving the seven-party government led by Dr Pakalitha Mosisili, in turmoil.
The opposition is also anticipating infighting among the governing parties comprising Dr Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), Basotho Congress Party (BCP), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) and National Independent Party (NIP) because of the Commission, leading to the disintegration of the alliance and eventually yet another early election.
The SADC probe, which started on 31 August , has seen several witnesses testify, among them Dr Mosisili, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, Defence minister Tšeliso Mokhosi, LDF Commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, LDF Advocate-General Colonel Bulane Sechele, Lieutenant-Colonel Tefo Hashatsi, and Ms Mahao—the wife of slain former LDF commander, Maaparankoe Mahao whose murder by the military on 25 June this year prompted SADC to set-up the Commission led by Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi of Botswana.
The on-going testimonies, according to the opposition, are going to divide the governing alliance, hence the prediction of another early election following that of 28 February 2015.
RCL Secretary-General ‘Mamulula Ntabe told the rally held in Taung constituency: “We will be going for elections after the SADC Commission has completed its investigation in November.
“All government and LDF officials who have testified before the Commission so far, have failed to be convincing in their response, and could not stick to what was being asked or publicly respond to the Inquiry’s mandate.
“The parties in government will soon start fighting and then we will be going for elections because there won’t be a government anymore.
“It is then that Basotho will make informed decisions and vote for people who are serious about democracy, peace and the stability of this country. Basotho are going to vote for people who don’t joke about the death of innocent people the way government and LDF officials have been doing about Ntate Mahao, Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko, and taxi-owner Thabiso Tšosane.
“People can clearly see that we are united as the opposition. We have the same ideology and are consistent about the security of Lesotho. Our leaders fled the country in May fearing for their lives and then Ntate Mahao was killed.
“But we remain firm that opposition MPs won’t sit in parliament again until our leaders return from South Africa where they have sought refuge. The opposition is aware that on-going talks between Ntate Mosisili and Ntate Thabane (ABC leader) might exclude the other leaders in exile (BNP leader Thesele ‘Maseribane and his RCL counterpart Keketso Rantšo). We know the discussions for Ntate Thabane’s return home are meant to divide the opposition, but that won’t happen because he is not going to come back without the others; they also need a guarantee of their safety for their return together.”
BNP deputy-leader Joang Molapo also weighed-in on Dr Thabane’s discussions with Dr Mosisili, which started last month.
“I want to assure you that Ntate Thabane won’t come back to Lesotho leaving behind Morena Thesele and ‘m’e Keke. Don’t be lied to because the intention is clearly to divide us as the opposition.
“This country has been about divisions along party lines for so long that the unity we have now between nationalists and congress is making our detractors jealous.
“People must learn from this unity and stop fuelling hatred among Basotho for the good of this country.”
‘Mathato Ramakoae of the ABC reiterated that the SADC probe would soon “expose people” who have been at the forefront of “destabilising” the country.
“This Commission is going to expose people and then Basotho will know the truth about who has been behind this instability in our country and also why our leaders had to go into exile.
“People of Taung, so many lies have been spread about the escape of our leaders in May. ‘M’e Keke and her allies, Ntate Thabane and Chief ‘Maseribane, didn’t run away from the shadows of their bodies as some people have been joking about their escape.
“Just wait for the Commission to investigate and complete its work and you will be informed of leaders who kill and threaten their own people.
“After that, sit down and make informed decisions and vote for leaders who fight for peace and stability; leaders who are not selfish but care about the welfare of all Basotho,” Ms Ramakoae said.