Mahao dismisses MEC demands

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Lesotho (NUL), Professor Nqosa Mahao, has dismissed calls by the youth league of the opposition Movement for Economic Change (MECYL) for him to step down.

The MECYL recently demanded the resignation of Professor Mahao who they accused of dabbling in politics instead of working for the improvement of students’ welfare and the learning environment at the country’s premier institution of higher learning.

MECYL Secretary General, Nkejane Lethoba, also accused Professor Mahao of bias by sidelining the university’s Student Representative Committee (SRC) that was elected in October last year in favour of working with the previous SRC.

“Professor Mahao is not furthering the interests of the NUL but he is a politician and it would only be fair if he steps down. He should come and join politics,” charged Lethoba.

“We don’t mean to disrespect him but we firmly urge him to resign because he is serving the interests of a party that he loves and can’t even hide it,” Mr Lethoba said of Professor Mahao.

This (Professor Mahao’s conduct) affects the youth directly and he is politicking behind closed doors. We think it’s only fair that he should join politics without hiding it.

“An SRC was elected and yet Professor Mahao has chosen not to recognise it. He has chosen to work with another (SRC faction) which shares his political interests.”

However, Professor Mahao flatly denied being a politician and said he would not resign on the basis of misplaced allegations by an MECYL which was not fully conversant with how the university conducted its operations.

“I am answerable to a university council which is fully capacitated to monitor me every day and the council is still very happy with my work.

“I was appointed the Chief Academic and Administrative Accounting Officer so I am not answerable to the MEC youths and they have no business meddling in the university’s affairs.

“I won’t take anything from these cynical kids who don’t even know what they are talking about. I have to work with the SRC that I appointed with the executive powers vested in me because there is a pending court case to determine the legitimate SRC,” Professor Mahao said.

Professor Mahao said he initially wanted to sue the MEC for defamation but only refrained from doing so after his discussions with the party’s leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, made him realise that the latter had nothing to do with the MECYL’s allegations.

“I have since learnt that their leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, has nothing to do with this matter. We discussed the issue and therefore suing them would only be a waste of time and he (Mochoboroane) has since promised to reprimand them,” Professor Mahao said.

For his part, Mr Mochoboroane said he would not comment on the issue, saying the matter is “purely and wholly to do with the youth”.

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