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Chaos in Senate



Staff Reporter


BUSINESS in the Senate was brought to a halt yesterday after Chief Khoabane Theko interjected repeatedly during debate.

Chief Theko, who is the Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, interrupted as the leader of the Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP), Jeremane Ramathebane, spoke as he opposed the Audit Bill 2016.

Ramathebane, who was responding to the Audit Bill 2016 which was circulated by Finance Minister ’Mamphono Khaketla, argued that the Bill seeks to side-line ordinary Basotho who had not gone to school.

He said if he was given the power he would appoint to the position of Auditor General an ordinary party supporter who sings at the party’s rallies.

“It is unfair for party loyalists to be side-lined in favour of the educated ones when the time to hire people comes,” Ramathebane said.

“I would give this job of Auditor General to the ones who follow the party and not the educated ones.”

It was those remarks that incensed Chief Theko.

The chief could not take it anymore.

Without having been called upon to speak, the furious chief shouted at his fellow senator saying Ramathebane was talking nonsense.

“This is nonsense. I totally disagree with this,” he shouted.

The Bill is meant to repeal the Audit Act of 1973 in order to provide for the establishment of an independent office of the Auditor General.

But there was yet more drama to come in the Senate.

The next to be heckled was Home Affairs Minister Lekhetho Rakuoane who had gone to the Senate to present the ministry’s plans for the celebration of Lesotho’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

Rakuoane said the government plans to erect statues of prominent Basotho chiefs in every district as part of the national celebrations.

But Chief Theko suddenly interjected shouting the minister had disrespected chiefs.

Chief Theko complained that the minister had failed to inform the chief on time about the government’s plans on the independence celebrations and “we are only being told now”.

The Senate Deputy President Futho Hoohlo tried to call Chief Theko to order but in vain. The chief continued to shout saying when people were given new blankets at a certain government function in Thaba-Bosiu recently he was side-lined.

The Senate business became a free for all as it was no longer clear who was talking whether it was Rakuoane or Chief Theko.

Hoohlo said it was sad that Chief Theko liked to be respected when he himself did not respect others.

He then adjourned the House without completing the day’s business.


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