MASERU — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane berated former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili for insisting that the premier fire Agriculture Minister Litšoane Litšoane for alleged sexual harassment and assault.
Thabane who is also the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party leader, slammed Mosisili over his Bela-Bela constituency rally remarks lambasting Litšoane over his alleged sexual harassment and assault of his domestic worker ’Maneo Moifo on September 6 and calling for his expulsion.
“Mosisili seems to be forgetful of his unbecoming behaviour during his days as a sitting premier,” Thabane said.
The premier then cited a case filed in the Magistrate Court before Chief Magistrate Molefi Makara in March 2006, in which three persons were accused of intentionally and unlawfully publishing a defamatory statement pertaining to Mosisili’s alleged infidelity.
The accused were ‘Maketso Motjope, a former employee of the Ministry of Finance, Methe Pekeche of Masianokeng, who was employed in the Ministry of Communications as well as Qamaka Ntšene, all of whom were members the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which Mosisili led from 1998 until 2012 when he defected to form his now main opposition Democratic Congress (DC).
In the charge sheet it was alleged the trio unlawfully and intentionally published defamatory papers at Hleoheng in Leribe and Ha Sekoati in Mohale’s Hoek on January 20 2006, alleging that “The Member of Parliament for Tsoelike, the Prime Minister, is having an adulterous relationship with the Member of Parliament for Qacha’s Nek constituency, Pontšo Sekatle, and on account of that adulterous relationship, Semano Sekatle, the spouse of the said MP for Qacha’s Nek constituency, has been rewarded by being appointed Principal Secretary.”
The trio was found guilty of pamphleteering and ordered to issue a public apology.
In aparent reference to the infamous case Thabane said: “We will speak about that person who first spoke about Tsoelike and Qacha’s Nek.”
Thabane said if you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.
“We should stop pointing fingers at another man’s mistakes when we too have our own mistakes,” Thabane said. “We know he himself once appeared before courts and was grilled by lawyers about that issue. Who spoke about those issues on radio? We will speak about them if he continues his smear campaign.”
“There is an incident that happened recently and one of us appeared on radio, and people were saying all sorts of things about him,” Thabane said, referring to the allegations against Litšoane which were published in newspapers and extensively broadcast on a local radio station.
“One political leader (Mosisili) recently had a rally at Litšoane’s home constituency where he went on to slander Litšoane saying he is a philanderer. What about him (Mosisili)?” Thabane charged.
Thabane further stated that there are “ways of finding out the truth if the allegations levelled against Litšoane were real”.
“All the time when issues come up some of us wait for the truth to be revealed. And when we get to the truth we work on the issues basing on the truth, not baseless allegations,” Thabane said.
Thabane urged his party members to learn to separate gossip from real issues.
“When an enemy accuses one of your own, you should take them to be spreading unfounded lies until the truth has been unveiled. Then you can take your colleague to task and ask them what they were doing,” Thabane said.
“Whenever an enemy spreads false information about your colleague on radios stations, saying Thabane did this and that, you take that to be true, we’d cease to exist completely because of radio broadcasts.”
Thabane’s press secretary Thabo Thakalekoala advised Mosisili to desist from making shameful remarks about the coalition government’s ministers because “his cabinet ministers also committed very shameful acts which included sexual harassment cases”.
“Ntate Mosisili is trying to turn himself into a saint over these sexual harassment claims. I’m not saying Ntate Litšoane did what he is alleged to have committed,” Thakalekoala fumed.
Thakalekoala added that the victim alleging to have been assaulted or harassed sexually by Litšoane should “sue or open a case against the agriculture minister”.
“The person who has been harassed should approach the courts of law to fight his battle as we have very sound courts of law for delivering justice in this country,” Thakalekoala said.
Thakalekoala said the former Prime Minister should desist from inciting people to be unruly towards government.
“The Prime Minister has been given the powers to govern this country by the Constitution of Lesotho and the King, hence he has a right to take any decision he wishes to but he does not have to make hasty decisions,” Thakalekoala said.
“The Prime Minister is observing and learning about this issue and Basotho should be calm as they will be informed in due course about what he decides on this matter.”
He said Thabane should be given a chance to “deal with matters arising from this issue without any obstruction”.