Lesotho PM Majoro fires new defence minister 10 days after making appointment

On 4 February, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro reshuffled his cabinet when he fired a minister of defence and appointed Lekhetho Mosito in that position.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Lesotho’s Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro fired a defence minister who he appointed just 10 days ago, signaling an apparent loss of power within his party.

This follows reports that the All Basotho Convention, which is still led by murder-accused former Prime Minister Tom Thabane, threatened to remove him if he failed to reverse the appointment.

On 4 February, the prime minister reshuffled his cabinet when he fired a minister of defence and appointed Lekhetho Mosito in that position.

But members of his ABC party complained that Majoro had not consulted either his own party nor his coalition partner The Democratic Congress.

On Monday night, he buckled under pressure and wrote to Mosito to terminate his appointment before he could attend a single cabinet sitting.

The unilateral cabinet reshuffle and the removal signifies deepening divisions in the party and shows how fragile Majoro’s position is.

He is neither the leader of the ABC nor a member of its national executive and the party saw him as a compromise candidate when it needed to appoint Thabane’s successor.

But it has now shown him that it still has power over him and he has conceded.

This would normally also spell trouble for the military that in the past was seen as politicised but army commander Mojalefa Letsoela recently warned soldiers not to be drawn into politics and only pledge allegiance to the constitution.

Majoro is yet to announce who he will appoint as the new minister of defence.

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