Embattled Lesotho Prime Minister Thabane quits office

The country’s supreme ruler King Letsie III has been advised by parliament to appoint Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro as premier and he is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.
Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Motsoahae Thabane is seated at the Opening Session of the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government at the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria on August 19, 2017. – The theme of the two-day Summit attended by heads of state from the 15 member nations is: partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value chains. (Photo by GULSHAN KHAN / AFP)

Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane on Tuesday resigned from office after months-long crisis that engulfed the kingdom following accusations that he has questions to answer on the death of is ex-wife, Lipolelo Thabane, 58.

“I appear before you to announce that the work that you had assigned me may not be over but the time to retire from the great theatre of action, take leave from public life and office has finally arrived,” he said in a national television address.

The June 2017 killing of his ex-wife sent shockwaves through the tiny landlocked southern African nation, plunging the country into political turmoil and prompting calls for the 80-year-old leader to step down.

Thabane was in the midst of a bitter divorce with his estranged wife when she was shot dead outside her home two days before her husband’s inauguration as Prime minister.

Your Friends Also Read:  Nigerian court orders P&ID to forfeit assets to government

Police said they found Thabane’s mobile number in communications records from the crime scene.

The alleged evidence prompted rivals within and outside Thabane’s party All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, to demand his immediate resignation. 

– ‘Entrenching divisions’ – 

Thabane, whose elected term was due to end in 2022, earlier this year said he would leave office by July 31 due to his advanced age.

“When I made a voluntary announcement in January this year to retire from office, on or before the 31st of July 2020, I did so with all sincerity because of my full conviction and belief that to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven — a time to be born and time to die,” Thabane said Tuesday. 

“But because of the deeply entrenched political polarisation in our society, some decided to use my announcement for political gain while others resigned themselves into further entrenching divisions among Basotho.”

Your Friends Also Read:  Military destroys terrorists’ hideout on Lake Chad and Sambisa

His All Basotho Convention (ABC) party and the opposition nominated Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro to be his successor after Thabane’s coalition government was disbanded last week.

The country’s supreme ruler King Letsie III, has also been advised to appoint Majoro at premier and he is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.

Thabane has vehemently denied any involvement in the murder of his ex-wife. He says he is not a killer.

“I don’t kill people and I wouldn’t kill my wife. No, no!” he said.

His current wife Maesaiah Thabane, 43, whom he married two months after Lipolelo’s death, is considered a co-conspirator in the murder case. 

She has been charged with murder and is currently out on bail.

Your Friends Also Read:  Sudan's death toll rises, protesters reject military's call for fresh talks

While no premier has served out a full five-year term in Lesotho over the past decade, Thabane boasted in an interview that he has set an example to fellow African leaders who have a propensity to cling to power.

“I’m trying to set a precedent that leaders in Africa must volunteer to leave when they think it’s time to leave or at the very worst they must leave when their term ends.”

Thabane will remain leader of the ruling ABC for the time being. 

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.

Contact: digital@newscentral.ng


Leave a Reply

Previous Article

Migne threatens to take Kenya FA to FIFA

Next Article

South Sudan Vice President, wife in isolation after testing Coronavirus positive

Related Posts