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Mahao’s troubles pile up

Professor Nqosa Mahao’s troubles keep mounting. While he battles a revolt within the Basotho Action Party (BAP) and fights with his principal secretary, Tankiso Phapano, Mahao has been forced to make a humiliating climb down. Last week Prime Minister Sam Matekane instructed him to dissolve the Lesotho Electricity Generation Company (LEGCO)’s board a day after he had appointed additional members to it.

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Mahao appointed three additional members to the LEGCO board last Thursday.
But a day later, Matekane instructed him to dissolve the entire board.

“Regrettably, this morning I received representations from the office of the Prime Minister to dissolve the entire board,” Mahao said in a letter to the LEGCO CEO ’Mathabo Mahahabisa.
“I therefore dissolve the board forthwith,” he said.

Mahao’s letter did not explain Matekane’s reasons for instructing him to dissolve the board. Mahao had appointed former Finance Minister Thabo Sophonea, ’Mapalesa Maile and Mothepu Monku.

The BAP’s acting secretary general, Lepolesa Makutoane, confirmed to thepost that the cadres affected were their members.
“All these members belong to our party,” Makutoane said.

This paper is reliably informed that the trio is loyal to Mahao’s faction in the BAP.
It is not clear if Phapano had a hand in sabotaging Mahao’s appointment.

What is however clear is that the war between Mahao and Phapano has intensified and is now threatening to tear the BAP apart.
The BAP’s working committee this week rejected Mahao’s request to write a letter asking the prime minister to either fire or transfer Phapano.

Sources in the party say the working committee, made up of senior members of the BAP’s central executive committee and the party’s six MPs, told Mahao to find a way to work with Phapano.

A source said Mahao is getting frustrated and isolated because the working committee is rejecting his instructions and fighting in Phapano’s corner.
Matekane too has rebuffed the professor’s attempt to force him to fire Phapano.

He has also ignored Mahao’s ultimatum to choose between him and Phapano.
Meanwhile, Mahao has slapped Phapano with a M2 million defamation claim for alleging that he is in a corrupt relationship with former Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) boss, Mohato Seleke.

“Client informs us that you have on various occasions and platforms, and before different groups of audience, uttered and therefore publicised albeit unlawful, defamatory statements concerning client alleging he is controlled by one Mohato Seleke,” said the letter that Mahao’s lawyer, S Tšabeha Chambers, wrote to Phapano.

The letter says Phapano said Mahao’s decisions involving the Energy Ministry and its units, like the management of the LEC, “advance the interests of the said Mohato Seleke”.

It says when Professor Mahao had gone to South Africa on holiday Phapano claimed that he had gone “on Seleke’s errands particularly to go and fix corrupt deals on behalf of the said Seleke”.
It also says a memorandum of understanding Mahao signed recently, which Phapano allegedly denounced, had been signed at the behest of Seleke.

Nkheli Liphoto

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