By Billy Ntaote
MASERU – The All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader Tlali Khasu on Sunday took a swipe at the Ministry of Local Government for failing to implement development projects on time.
Khasu, who is also the Minister of Mining, told a party rally held in Qeme that some ministries which are not under the ABC, such as Local Government, are letting the coalition administration down.
Local Government is under the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), which formed government alongside the ABC and Basotho National Party (BNP) after the 2012 general election failed to produce an outright winner.
The minister, who appeared embarrassed by the state of the roads in the constituency, said ABC members must ensure the party wins the 2017 national elections with an outright majority so it can form government on its own.
In addition to Local Government, Khasu also slammed the Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs — which is also under the LCD — for failing to provide services to the Qeme constituency.
Khasu again attacked the Democratic Congress (DC), whose candidate won the Qeme constituency in the 26 May 2012 parliamentary election, for failing to bring meaningful development to the area.
“I don’t even understand why people here voted for a DC candidate. In most cases, you’d hear people talking about 1970, saying they were assaulted and under oppression then, when they were only born in the 1980s. They also make false claims that Ntsu Mokhehle (founder of the LCD) said this and that, yet people like me who lived with Mokhehle, are here in the ABC,” he said.
Khasu also accused former Prime Minister and DC leader, Pakalitha Mosisili and his deputy, Monyane Moleleki, of betraying Basotho.
“They are always talking about people being ill-treated in the 70s (during the BNP government), without substantiating their claims. They misrepresent Mokhehle and what he stood for, and unfortunately, some people tend to believe them.”
Addressing the same rally, which was also attended by members of the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League-Free State Province, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said it was surprising that the past government never saw the need for Qeme to have better roads and bridges, as well as electricity.
“You keep voting for the same party all the time even after that party has failed to provide you with services for so many years. Why keep voting the DC that will not bring you anything? The DC can’t bring you the bridge it has failed to build you all these years,” said Thabane.
Contacted for a comment, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, Apesi Rats’ele dismissed the mining minister’s accusations out of hand.
“Khasu is mad and all he was saying amounts to political rhetoric. Recently, I launched the construction of roads and bridges in the Thupa-Kubu constituency.
“What people should understand is we don’t just construct roads anywhere; we follow a plan and this plan is from the District Council. Another issue we consider is the scarce resources we always have to share accordingly,” Rats’ele said.
Ratsele also said Khasu had no idea about the Maseru District’s roads-maintenance plan.
“We actually have three sets of road-construction machinery operating in the constituency right now and the minister is not aware of this. But I believe this was mere political speechmaking at a rally,” said Rats’ele.