22nd July 2024

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Lesotho premier appoints new ministers

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Sam Matekane appoints new ministers

Matekane appoints new allies who are helping him stabilise government as ministers after spirited efforts to oust him

Lesotho’s Sam Matekane has rewarded politicians who have jumped ship from the opposition to join government to stabilise the shacky administration by appointing them ministers amid spirited efforts by opposition to oust the prime minister.

Matekane has in the last one month been fending off pressure from opposition in parliament after Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Machesetsa Mofomobe, filed a motion of no confidence against him on 13 October.

The premier’s party had to scrounge to get the courts to defer the deliberations on the motion on 16 October, the day of the vote.

But it had to take some opposition MPs to cross the floor and give Matekane the numbers he needed to save the one-year-old administration.

And acting government secretary, Moshe Mosaase, on Monday issued circulars to different stakeholders on Tuesday morning informing them about the incoming ministerial appointments.

This publication has been reliably informed by sources close to the government that Matekane has had to increase his cabinet by at least eight more ministers to add to the 15 appointed last year. Five new deputies will also be appointed.

Spirited as the attempt to oust him was, Matekane did not take it lying down. He wrote to the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zambian president, Hakainde Hichilema, on 20 October 2023, to block the no confidence motion filed against him by opposition.

He accused the opposition of derailing the reforms process by seeking to unseat him when parliament was supposed to be focusing on passing the long pending reforms. He claimed in the letter that the motion against his government was filed by “selfish” members of parliament who were power hungry.

The premier wanted the motion of no confidence to be deferred until the finalisation of the national reforms, arguing that the pending 11th Amendment to the Constitution (reforms) would curb incessant no confidence motions against premiers and guarantee stability for the country which has in the last decade registered a staggering five governments.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties, which are seeking to form a new coalition government to replace Matekane’s administration, also petitioned SADC Executive Secretary, Elias Magosi a fortnight ago.

Read more on this subject

Matekane picks lean cabinet

Lesotho’s uniformed forces weigh into parly chaos

Lesotho’s Matekane survives for now as no confidence motion is halted

 

In their letter dated 23 October 2023, they complained about the recent averments by the Lesotho national security chiefs who vowed that they would not allow any regime change until the reforms which started in 2016 were completed.

They also highlight the statement which was made by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela on 21 October 2023, where he said he would not tolerate transferring power from one government to another. When a new prime minister is installed, Lt-Gen Letsoela is responsible for transferring the Lesotho Constitution and national flag from an outgoing premier to his successor.

Although the finer details for his visit are still sketchy, Hichilema eventually visited Lesotho and met with the warring parties last weekend.

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