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Stop dismissal of PS’, opposition tells Matekane



MASERU – OPPOSITION parties have petitioned Prime Minister Sam Matekane to stop firing principal secretaries and hiring new ones until the national reforms are completed.

The opposition told Matekane in a letter on Monday that his decision to appoint new people to statutory positions is a “threat to the completion of the reforms”.

The letter was signed by the leaders of the Democratic Congress (DC), All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho Action Party (BAP), Socialist Revolutionaries (SR), Basotho National Party (BNP), Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Mpulule Summit, and Basotho Convenient Movement (BCM).

The parties reminded Matekane that the at a meeting on February 13 they assured him of their commitment to the speedy finalisation of the reform process.

They also reminded him that they cautioned him that the “government must reciprocate to demonstrate goodwill by committing to a moratorium on new appointments to key statutory positions”.

The positions, they said, “are the subject of the reforms and the dismissals of incumbents in those positions”.

“Leaders also proposed that a timetable for the prosecution to completion of the reforms be agreed to,” the letter reads.

“We are however dismayed and disappointed by the fact that the government has decided to unilaterally storm ahead with removals and appointments,” the parties said in the letter to Matekane.

“We are further dismayed that the government has ignored the sacrosanct sub judice principle since court processes are already underway in relation to the unilateral removal of Principal Secretaries.”

They have also said the recent appointments of the new Auditor General ’Mathabo Makenete and the Director-General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO), Knorx Molelle, were “outside the framework proposed in the reforms”.

The parties said this is “a further violation of the intended depoliticisation (sic) and professionalism of the Public Service and the affirmation of the independence of these institutions”.

They said the firing of the principal secretaries will have the unintended consequences of undermining the spirit of cooperation between the government and the opposition in parliament.

The cooperation, they said, is “an imperative during the delicate reforms process”.

“We therefore appeal and urge the government to commit to a moratorium on appointments pending the finalisation of the reforms.”

The opposition’s plea to Matekane comes after Public Service Minister Richard Ramoeletsi announced last week that they will part ways with the principal secretaries and recruit new ones via interviews.

Ramoeletsi said they held several meetings to dismiss all 25 principal secretaries despite their resistance.

He said they want to reduce the number of principal secretaries from 27 to 14 to strengthen service delivery in Lesotho and also to save funds.

At least 10 principal secretaries have reacted by dragging the government to court.

Nkheli Liphoto

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