MASERU — Former trade minister Mpho Malie is back in government after he was appointed a political adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, the Lesotho Times heard this week.
The appointment marks a spectacular return into government for Malie who resigned as trade minister five years ago.
In a circular dated January 19, 2013 issued by Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) secretary general, Keketso Rantšo, the party said due to the nature of the coalition government it was advisable for Metsing’s office and that of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to “be assigned political advisers”.
“Due to the myriad of responsibilities assigned both the office of the Prime Minister and that of the deputy prime minister, we’ve advised ourselves that it would be in our best interest to assign them political advisers,” Rantšo says in the circular.
Malie, 67, is the current chairman of the LCD Elders’ Committee, a political think-tank for the party.
He has in the past served as the party’s secretary general.
“The executive committee of the LCD therefore informs you that Ntate Metsing, in consultation with the executive committee has appointed the chairman of the Elders’ Committee Ntate Mpho Malie as his political adviser,” Rantšo adds.
“We wish him well and hope he finds warmth in that office.”
Contacted for comment last night, Malie said he was still not certain as to how the office will operate adding: “I’m yet to see my terms of reference”.
“I’m not sure if the office falls under the Public Service or if it’s an independent office.
“But I understand that it will be treated the same way the office of adviser to the Prime Minister is treated,” Malie said.
Malie quit as LCD secretary general in early 2009.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times in February 2009, Malie said he was quitting to give the younger generation a chance.
“I am no longer young. I think it is time to give the younger generation a chance.
“We need this constant renewal. I believe that I have done my part as the general secretary,” he said then.
Meanwhile, former High Commissioner of Lesotho to Canada, Sekhonyana Bereng, has been appointed the Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s political adviser.
Bereng is a former government secretary and also previously held a post in the political division of the United Nations in Lesotho.
The Lesotho Times understands there are also plans to appoint a political adviser for Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele ’Maseribane.
“It is imperative that all the three coalition leaders have political advisers because of their busy schedules,” said a senior BNP official on condition he was not named.
’Maseribane is also the Minister of Gender and Sport.