MASERU — The main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) says the dismissal by the government of the party’s youth leader, Thuso Litjobo, was “procedurally flawed” and urged it to reverse it.
In a letter dated August 13 addressed to Energy Minister Timothy Thahane, DC secretary general Ralechate ‘Mokose accused the minister of “blatant discrimination” when he authorised the firing of Litjobo.
“We definitely see it as discriminatory and hope that this will be corrected,” ‘Mokose wrote.
Litjobo, the DC youth league chairman, was earlier this month fired from his post as a driver in the Ministry of Energy and Water Affairs by acting principal secretary Emmanuel Lesoma in a move that was seen as politically motivated.
In the letter, Lesoma told Litjobo that his contract had been terminated because of his appearances at political rallies using a
government vehicle and making political statements on radio “before and after elections”.
‘Mokose says Litjobo attended political rallies and made political statements “as he is the DC youth league chairman”.
“But he’s not alone,” ‘Mokose says, adding that the punishment meted out on Litjobo should be extended to all government workers openly participating in politics.
“If it is the policy of the coalition government to dismiss such of its employees, we humbly ask that the government be even-handed and deal decisively with them, but without discrimination,” ‘Mokose says.
‘Mokose then provides Thahane with a list of civil servants who are members of political parties.
‘Mokose claims that the ABC youth league publicity secretary, Jane Mohoalohoalo, BNP youth league president Ts’eliso Lesenya and the LCD youth league chairman, Rorisang Mokuena “are all politically active”.
‘Mokose says ABC youth leader, Mohoalohoalo, an employee of the energy ministry, was in the last five years not only politically vocal “but blatantly disrespectful”.
“For the last five years, Mr Mohoalohoalo has not only been politically vocal but outright disrespectful to all and sundry in government,” ‘Mokose says.
“In a word, he has been far more outspoken than the DC’s Thuso’s Litjobo.”
“The president of the BNP youth league, Mr Ts’eliso Lesenya, is a public officer at the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship and Parliamentary Affairs,” ‘Mokose says.
Mokoena of the LCD was also “a civil servant of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport”.
He adds that the aforementioned “young Basotho men are cases in point regarding open political activity”.
“They are always all over the press and radio stations, sometimes with little or no respect for anybody in a position of authority,” ‘Mokose says.
“While we were in office, none of them were subjected to any sort of disciplinary reprisals. If today the new government wishes to take a different approach towards them, we hope it will do so without any discrimination.”
‘Mokose appealed to Thahane to be more tolerant “in dealing with politically active public servants”.
“However, if it is not possible, we humbly request that you act both procedurally and in an even-handed manner,” ‘Mokose says.
The letter was copied to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, the Christian Council of Lesotho as well as the All Basotho Convention secretary Thabiso Lits’iba, Keketso Rants’o, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy secretary general and Moletsane Jonathan, the BNP secretary general.
The three parties make up the coalition government that was formed after the May 26 general election.