MASERU — Opposition party youth leagues say Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili should be charged for addressing a Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) rally in January without police clearance.
Mosisili addressed the rally on January 28, a day after his party had been forced to cancel a special conference due to internal squabbles.
The rally was held at ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Monday the opposition youth leagues said the rally was not sanctioned by the police as required by the Public Meetings and Processions Act 2011.
The youths said Mosisili should have sought a police clearance before he addressed that impromptu rally at which he accused his party’s executive committee of sabotaging the special conference.
According to the law anyone who organises or addresses a meeting without police permission faces a five-year jail sentence or a M10 000 fine or both.
The Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) youth leader, Bokang Ramatšella, said Mosisili should be charged under section 6(3) of the Public Meetings and Processions Act 2011.
Ramatšella said the prime minister should be charged together with other party members who organised the meeting.
“There was nobody among them who had applied for permission to hold a meeting,” Ramatšella said.
“The leader has broken the law by addressing the people who had no legal right to be at that place. Section 6(3) of the Act specifies the punishment that should be imposed upon such law breakers.”
The joint statement was made by youth leagues from seven parties; the LPC, Marematlou Freedom Party, Basotho National Party, National Independent Party, Lesotho Workers Party, All Basotho Convention and Popular Front for Democracy.
The LCD executive committee has however claimed it had permission from the police to hold the conference at ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre.
The committee also had police clearance to congregate at the Cooperatives Hall to prepare delegates for the conference.
The youths maintain that Mosisili did not have any permission to hold the meeting.
Their appeal comes two weeks after Maseru urban police commander, Tšeliso Tšita, announced over local radio stations that the premier had not violated any law.