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I made Matekane rich: Moleleki



MASERU – THE Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader Monyane Moleleki says he made Sam Matekane a millionaire when he was still minister.
Moleleki was speaking at a rally in Mekaling in Mohale’s Hoek last weekend.

He said his supporters should not fall in the trap thinking by joining Matekane’s Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party they will also become rich.
That is a fallacy, Moleleki said.

Moleleki claimed that he had also made several other tycoons in Lesotho rich. Among some of the names he cited were businessmen None None, Jimmi Lenka, Mohlomi Moleko, Thulo Thulo most of whom are said to be behind the formation of the RFP.

“The above were made rich by Monyane Moleleki while he was a minister,” a fired up Moleleki told his supporters amid cheers.

The RFP which was formed three weeks ago has caused political tremors in Lesotho with established political parties lashing out at Matekane and his camp.
Matekane cut his umbilical cord with the congress parties when he announced the party’s formation.

Political observers have accredited Matekane’s rise in business to multi-million government tenders he won when former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was still in office.
But it was never established if Matekane was a member of the DC or its predecessor the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).

However, it is an open secret that the government of Lesotho often parcels out tenders to its supporters. There has been no evidence however to prove that Matekane’s companies won tenders on the basis of his close links with political players within the government.

Moleleki’s claim is perhaps the first time that a former senior government minister has openly confirmed the practice.
He served as a minister for years and was the DC’s deputy leader before he defected to form the AD in 2016 after he fell out with Mosisili over the succession issue.

Mosisili and Moleleki were close to Matekane when he began his meteoric rise to fabulous riches in the late 1990s.
During Mosisili’s 15-year premiership, all in which Moleleki held influential cabinet positions, Matekane’s companies won several construction tenders.

Moleleki said he knew very well the businessmen who formed the RFP.

“I also know where they are coming from and how they became millionaires,” he said.

While Moleleki lashed out at Matekane, he kept his eye firmly on a group of rebel MPs who defected from his AD to join the RFP last week.
Moleleki said the party was not for sale.

His main gripe was with the former secretary general, Dr Mahali Phamotse, who was among the defectors last week.
Moleleki said he will next week enter Phamotse’s constituency, Matlakeng, to tell the people there that the AD was not folding its flag. He said the people must ignore Phamotse.

Other trusted members who defected last week are women’s league president ’Manthabiseng Phohleli and treasurer, Tlohelang Aumane.
The trio officially declared their departure during a Matekane rally in Mantšonyane last week.
Moleleki complained that some members had tried to damage their party while defecting by claiming that it was on the verge of collapse.

“They lied that our party was on the verge of closure,” he said.

He said the fact that 150 new members had just joined the party was a clear sign that the AD was alive and kicking.

“I have seen some AD members defecting, they are being pushed by fear,” he said, adding that those who are saying the AD would merge with the RFP had instilled fear in their supporters.

“Those who are defecting are just a small number while those who are joining are in huge numbers,” he said.

He said he would welcome new members every week to show his party’s strength, adding that his party “has been growing more than before since the formation of the new party”.

“Be strong and continue encouraging more people to join.”

“Our party will not be sold, even for millions,” he said.

He said people who are leaving the party are trying to influence others to join them.

“They are telling lies that we will soon merge with the new party.”

“Some people started shaking after they heard that one millionaire was forming a party.”

He said they should “not be scared of a party that waves flags on helicopters”.

“The people cannot be sold for money,” he said.

He said people should quickly disabuse themselves of the idea that joining a party of millionaires would also make them millionaires.

“While a minister, I made a lot of these people rich,” he said.

He said one of his biggest achievements was to install electricity for needy villagers across the country.
He said the AD remains independent and strong and is not going anywhere.

Nkheli Liphoto

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