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Lesotho’s first lady allegedly 'hiding' in the statehouse

Her lawyers have kept her whereabouts a closely guarded secret refusing to divulge her location even to the courts.

FILE: Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane (L), leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party, his wife Maesiah Ramoholi Thabane and Zambian President Edgar Lungu (R) attend Thabane's inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru. Picture: AFP.

MASERU - Speculation is mounting that Lesotho first lady Maesiah Thabane is still inside the statehouse while calls intensify for her husband Prime Minister Tom Thabane to resign.

Police are piling pressure on her to disclose her whereabouts and they're urging the High Court not to hear her application if she fails to give up her location.

At the same time, a warrant for her arrest for murder remains in force.

Family members and close friends of the powerful family have told Eyewitness News that the prime minister has become so dependent on his young wife Maesiah, that it’s unlikely he would stay at the official residence without her for even a day.

But her lawyers have kept her whereabouts a closely guarded secret refusing to divulge her location even to the courts.

Judge Tseliso Monaphathi said: “If the applicant can make herself available to me as the court.”

Lawyers representing police and the magistrate that issued the arrest warrant want her to prove that she’s still in jurisdiction of the court before it hears the case.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the statehouse where coalition partners and Thabane’s party have been going in and out of meetings since Friday with some supporters saying he’s agreed to resign.

WHO WILL TAKE OVER IF THABANE RESIGNS?

It’s being reported that the question of who will take over if Thabane resigns is the only thing holding back his announcement.

However, his allies insist he's going nowhere.

The opposition said if he didn't step down, it wanted Parliament to reopen, so it could use its numbers to vote him out.

Unconfirmed reports say his party and coalition partners have agreed that the 80-year old prime minister should resign but they can’t agree on who should succeed him.

However, leader of opposition Democratic Congress Mathibeli Mokhothu said the power to appoint a prime minister lied with the National Assembly where they have control.

“We had numbers a long time ago - this has been a minority government for months - they lost numbers a long time ago.”

For months, the opposition has backed the rival faction of Thabane’s ABC Party.

Although strange bedfellows, together they have won other votes, but the speaker used technicalities to stall countless no-confidence votes in Thabane.

But if the ABC doesn’t unite and agree, then the opposition in the National Assembly looks set to decide what happens next.

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