FOUR principal secretaries have resigned with three of them expected to be redeployed to the country's diplomatic missions, the Lesotho Times has learnt.
The principal secretaries are Advocate Mole Kumalo (Ministry of Health), Nkopane Monyane (Police and Public Safety) Malefetsane Masasa (Social Development) and Monaphathi Maraka (Tourism, Environment and Culture).
They recently tendered their resignations to the government secretary, Moahloli Mphaka.
Sources said Messrs Kumalo, Maraka and Monyane are serving out their month's notices ahead of redeployment to the diplomatic missions. It was however, not clear why Mr Masasa had resigned. Mr Masasa's mobile phone repeatedly rang unanswered when the Lesotho Times called him for comment yesterday.
Mr Maraka confirmed he had resigned and was leaving the tourism ministry for a foreign destination. He however, said it was premature to say where he was headed to as the matter was still to be finalised with MrMphaka.
"I have been re-assigned and it is simply that I cannot take up one contract while I'm still on another one," Mr Maraka said.
"I wouldn't have resigned because I'm happy to serve Basotho here at home, but I have been asked to take up a new assignment. So, I had to resign as principal secretary. The government secretary is my supervisor and boss, so I complied. My new assignment hasn't been specified in writing but I expect official communication while I serve a month's notice until end February 2019," Mr Maraka said.
He further said it had been a very exciting experience to have served in two ministries, namely the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture.
"At the health ministry, it has been about the science of healthcare, diseases, medicines and strengthening the health systems. And there are protocols and procedures but here at tourism it is mainly about creativity and innovation as one of the ministries driving the economy in terms of the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP II).
"Creativity and innovation are key to the tourism ministry's capacity to drive the economy, be it through tangible and intangible tourism products, environmental and cultural national assets."
He also said it was important for all the players in the tourism sector to up their game to market Lesotho as premier tourist destination.
On his part, Adv Kumalo said he had not received any formal communication about his re-deployment to Durban as alleged by the government sources.
"It is not true that I have resigned. I have not received any formal communication about any re-deployment and I am still the principal secretary in the Ministry of Health," Adv Kumalo said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Mr Mphaka confirmed that Mr Monyane would be heading to New York to serve as ambassador "after being commissioned by his Majesty King Letsie III yesterday".
"But I cannot say anything about the other principal secretaries. I will not say whether they are going anyway or staying put, Mr Mphaka said yesterday.
In May last year, there was a reshuffle of principal secretaries by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
At the time, Mr Mphaka said the reshuffle was "part of a restructuring exercise to relocate people to where they would be more effective".
In that reshuffle, Mr Maraka was moved from the health ministry to tourism where he replaced Ms Motena Tšolo who was moved to Finance.
Adv Kumalo was moved to Health from Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights.
Mr Monyane was moved to the Police and Public Safety ministry from the Foreign Affairs and International Relations portfolio.