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New Lesotho PM Majoro admits battles within ABC eroded judiciary

Moeketsi Majoro on Wednesday said that he would make restoring the integrity of the judiciary one of his priorities.

FILE: Moeketsi Majoro (right) is sworn in as Lesotho prime minister at the Royal Palace in Maseru on 20 May 2020. Picture: AFP

MASERU – Lesotho’s new Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro has admitted that the political battles within the governing All Basotho Convention (ABC) party have eroded the independence of the country’s judiciary.

Majoro on Wednesday said that he would make restoring the integrity of the judiciary one of his priorities.

Out with Thabane, in with Majoro: Lesotho officially has a new PM

His embattled predecessor Tom Thabane finally stepped down on Tuesday.

While Majoro praised Thabane’s achievements, he also has to ensure that he follows due process regarding the murder charges against the now-former prime minister for allegedly killing of his second wife, Lipolelo.

Thabane’s murder charges in spotlight after resignation as PM

The divisions in the ABC party that lead to Thabane’s ouster started over a year ago following the party’s elective conference.

From then until now, the courts were sucked in as factions mounted challenges and counter challenges, including attempts by Thabane to expel the governing party’s national executive committee (NEC) and attempts by the NEC to suspend Thabane as the leader.

Majoro said that all that was regrettable.

"Certainly, our political struggles within ABC have done a lot to pollute the judiciary to a point where now trust in the judiciary has been diluted considerably," he said.

Despite this, the prime minister praised his predecessor but undertook to make amends.

“We need to rebuild the judiciary as we make improvements to fully acquire its independence,” Majoro said.

But those corrections could see Thabane being dragged to court soon where his application not to be charged as a sitting prime minister was no longer valid.