Lesotho Prime Minister Thabane to resign over alleged links to wife’s murder

Kent Mensah January 17, 2020
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to resign | AFP

The prime minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane has served notice he will step down with an official announcement expected on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the ruling party All Basotho Convention (ABC) said Thabane will officially inform cabinet about his decision next week.

“Mr Thabane has already made known his decision to resign to the cabinet in its seating on Tuesday,” ABC spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa told the AFP news agency on Thursday.

Court documents have made Thabane a person of interest in the 2017 murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane. However, the PM has not given any reason for his resignation. He is yet to also comment on the allegations.

ABC is expected to announce Thabane’s replacement after which parliament will approve.

“There is no exact date in place as to when Thabane shall step down but it’s going to be soon,” Masoetsa said.

The PM’s current wife Maesaiah Thabane has been declared wanted by the police over the murder. Mrs. Thabane is, so far, nowhere to be found even as police have intensified their search.

Following a court warrant on Friday for her arrest, police gave Mrs. Thabane until the end of Monday to surrender herself for questioning.

A search at the residence of her husband, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, yielded no sign of her whereabouts.

The BBC reports that the government is looking to allow the police to enlist the help of international partners in finding Mrs. Thabane.

Mr. Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelo, was shot and killed some two days before Mr. Thabane was sworn into office in June of 2017. The couple had been involved in a prolonged divorce after separating in 2012.

But the prime minister himself has been cited in investigations after police chief Holomo Molibeli noted that a mobile number belonging to Mr. Thabane was phoned from the site of his ex-wife’s murder.

Other government officials have also been linked to the murder, including the minister of water affairs and the government secretary.

“Government cannot be above [the] law,” Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane told reporters in Maseru.

“We would like to see her (Maesaiah Thabane) back home and go to the courts like everybody else.”

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: January 17, 2020


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