22nd July 2024

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22nd July 2024

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Lesotho Prime Minister faces no confidence motion

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Lesotho Premiere Sam Matekane appoints acting police commissioner

Our Reporter

PRIME Minister Sam Matekane is this Monday facing his debut no confidence motion in the country’s National Assembly since being inaugurated on 28 October 2022.

Filed on Friday by the Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Machesetsa Mofomobe, the motion was seconded by the Democratic Congress (DC)’s Makhaleng constituency legislator, Mootsi Lehata.

They plan to replace Matekane with DC leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu.

According to Monday’s National Assembly order paper, the 120 members of parliament (MPs) are expected to vote on: “That this honourable house has no confidence in the current government of Lesotho which is led by Prime Minister Sam Matekane; and this honourable house begs leave to urge His Majesty the King to appoint the Official Leader of Opposition, Mathibeli Mokhothu, as prime minister”.

While this is Matekane’s first motion of no confidence, if it succeeds, his tenue could go down in history as one of the shortest the country has ever had. The tiny mountain kingdom is a highly politically charged environment that has had five different governments in the last decade.

Matekane’s government came in with the hopes to achieve stability after his Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party garnered 57 constituencies from the 80 across the country.

The RFP went on to forge an alliance with the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) which both have four seats in parliament to achieve the minimum of 61 parliamentary seats required to form government.

The coalition also enjoys the support of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which has three seats, as well as Hope, United For Change (UFC) and Lesotho’s People Congress (LPC) which all have one seat in the chamber. This puts their numbers at 71 of the 120 seats.

However, the RFP recently expelled three MPs namely; Mahali Phamotse of Matlakeng constituency, Thuso Makhalanyane (Abia) and Kobeli Letlailana of Lithoteng. It is not yet clear whether the trio will vote in favour of Matekane as they had in August voted against the RFP in parliament – a move which led to their expulsion from the party.

It is further alleged that the trio enjoys the support of 23 other disgruntled RFP MPs and that would be a blow for the government if they decide to vote with the conglomerate of opposition parties which are determined to unseat Matekane.

The opposition numbers comprise of DC’s 26, the BNP’s two, the Basotho Action Party (BAP) which has eight, the All Basotho Convention (ABC) with eight and the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR)’s two, as well as National Independent Party (NIP), Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) and Basotho Covenant Movement (BCM) which have one seat each. It would put their numbers at 74 if the disgruntled RFP MPs were to vote with them to overthrow Matekane’s government.

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