LERIBE- Home Affairs Minister Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane says former prime minister Thomas Thabane has no one to blame but himself for the midway collapse of his tripartite government.
Advocate Rakuoane made the remark on Sunday during Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing’s belated 49th birthday party held in Mahobong.
According to Advocate Rakuoane, Dr Thabane’s failure to respect Mr Metsing, who was his deputy, was one of the reasons his government could not last its five-year term.
Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), Mr Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) led by Thesele ‘Maseribane formed a coalition government after the May 2012 elections had resulted in a hung parliament. However, persistent squabbling between Dr Thabane and Mr Metsing resulted in the collapse of the alliance and a snap election in February 2015.
The poll saw Dr Thabane’s regime being replaced by a seven-party government comprising the LCD, Advocate Rakuoane’s Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Democratic Congress (DC), Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), Basotho Congress Party (BCP), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) and National Independent Party (NIP).
“As government, we know Metsing was one of the many people harassed during Ntate Thabane’s regime, despite the fact that he was the one who made him prime minister. Had it not been for Metsing, Thabane would not have been the prime minister of Lesotho,” Advocate Rakuoane said.
The PFD leader also spoke of how some concerned politicians tried to talk Dr Thabane out of his “bad treatment” of Mr Metsing to no avail.
“When some of us rebuked him on his chicanery of insulting the first agreement ever that led to the formation of a coalition government, he turned his back on what had made him lucky to be a prime minister,” he said amid torrential rain, which Advocate Rakuoane noted was a sign the celebration, organised by the LCD was “directed by the Holy Spirit” since Mr Metsing had been against it.
“I suspect you could have been directed by the Holy Spirit to hold this celebration so as to cleanse him of all the bad luck cast upon him during the previous government, from which we all miraculously escaped,” Advocate Rakuoane said.
Meanwhile, in his address, Mr Metsing said the fact that he was the deputy premier did not mean he was better than the rest of Basotho.
“I was telling my guests that I was not part of this celebration’s preparations; I told them that my party’s leadership decided that it be held today although my birthday was on 2 February,” Mr Metsing said.
“I have nothing to say except to thank the Almighty God and all of you for taking some time off your busy schedules.
“I was born like all of you; I’m only human and of flesh and blood and I will die like all of you. Your celebrating my birthday does not mean I am any better than the rest of you, which is why I’m humbled.”
The Lesotho Times could not get hold of Dr Thabane for his response but ABC deputy leader, Khauta Khasu said Advocate Rakuoane’s “utterances” were uncalled for.
“His utterances were irrelevant for that particular forum. It appears he has a problem of mixing issues. The least we’d all expect at a birthday celebration is wishing Metsing a long life,” Mr Khasu said.
“In fact, Rakuoane’s utterances spoiled the good intentions of the celebration and tarnished Metsing’s image as a person. He blundered big time.”