Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lesotho: Prime Minister Resigns after Pressure over Alleged Involvement Ex-wife Murder

Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, the leader of All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, was facing mounting pressure to step down over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of involvement in the 2017 murder of his previous, estranged wife. They both deny this.

Lipolelo Thabane is identified as the former wife of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who was allegedly shot dead outside her home by her ex-husband’s current wife in the capital Maseru two days before his inauguration in 2017.

“I come before you today to announce that the work that you assigned me may not be over but the time to retire from the great theatre of action, take leave from public life and office has finally arrived,” Thabane said in a televised address on Tuesday.

The governing party and the opposition have accused the Mr Thabane of blocking the investigation regarding his previous wife’s murder.

Thabane served in the government of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili from 1998 to 2006 as a member of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), but in 2006 he split from the LCD and launched the All Basotho Convention (ABC). After more than five years in opposition, he built a coalition of 12 parties in the wake of the 2012 Lesotho parliamentary election and was appointed Prime Minister.

The 80-year-old Thabane had said he would go at the end of July, but rivals in his All Basotho Convention party reached a deal with the main opposition Democratic Congress to form a new government in the southern African nation.

A Council of State meeting on Monday advised King Letsie III to swear in Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Wednesday, according to the king’s senior private secretary, Monehela Posholi.

Thomas Thabane, the 80-year-old leader of Lesotho, married his third wife Maesiah Ramoholi, 42, at a sports stadium (pictured) three months after his second wife’s murder

That left Thabane no choice but to leave in a historic smooth transfer of power without a no confidence vote or elections.

“The time to retire from the great theater of action, take leave from public life and office has finally arrived,” Thabane said in a televised address Monday. He asked citizens to give his successor the “utmost support.”

The embattled prime minister had promised in January to retire due to old age but had been dragging his feet on when to do so.

PM Thomas Thabane with his partner Maesiah at his inauguration two days after his estranged wife was shot dead

His current wife, Maesaiah, has already been charged and is out on bail. Thabane asked the Constitutional Court to stop the courts from trying him for the crime while he remained in office. His retirement means he could now stand trial.

Thabane’s ruling coalition collapsed on May 11, and he had been expected to resign by May 22 when a new government is due to be installed.

Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro, 58, is expected to replace him. Among his immediate tasks as prime minister will be to pass the budget and revive the economy. Despite confirming only one coronavirus case, Lesotho has taken a big economic hit due to the global slowdown brought about by the pandemic.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.