Lesotho: New Mayor for Maseru

30 September 2020

The All Basotho Convention (ABC's) Ha-Abia constituency councillor, 'Mampho Thabane-Libate, was this week elected the new mayor of Maseru.

Ms Thabane-Libate won the poll with 10 votes edging Motimposo councillor, Tholang Sefojane, with nine votes. The election was held at Ha-Thamae Council Hall.

This marks a new chapter for the Maseru City Council, which has been under the leadership of Khubetsoana's Chief Hlathe Majara. Chief Majara took over from former mayor Mpho Moloi, who fell out with the ABC and joined the Selibe Mochoboroane led Movement for Economic Change (MEC) last year.

Ms Thabane-Libate becomes the second female mayor since the 3 June 2017 snap elections which ushered in Ms Moloi.

Ms Moloi was accused of misconduct and ousted through a vote of no confidence by her fellow councillors in a secret ballot last year. She was accused of walking out on the then Local Government and Chieftaincy minister, Litšoane Litšoane and disregarding his directives at a press conference in Maseru. She was also accused of disclosing the MCC's affairs at a political rally which was called by the party's deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao, who at the time, was leading a faction opposing party leader Thomas Thabane.

Ms Moloi was then replaced by Chief Majara whose tenure expired on Tuesday.

Speaking after the election, Chief Majara appealed to Ms Thabane-Libate to be firm and focused in discharging her directives.

"We have elected you to power to lead this council and not to be led by us. Your job is very challenging, so you should be very firm and where need be, you should unleash your power and be a dictator lest we derail, but that should not be all the time.

"I am at your disposal whenever you need my advice or guidance and to everyone else, I humbly urge you to respect the new mayor as you would all expect her to respect you in return," Chief Majara said.

"We should however, bear with her in her shortcomings because she is not an angel and to err is human. Where she errs, let's not throw stones at her."

On behalf of the other councillors, Mabote councillor Metsing Mothetsi expressed gratitude to the out-going Mayor.

"We have walked a long journey with you. We apologise for what we could have done wrong during your tenure...

"We expect Mayor Thabane-Libate to work harmoniously with Town Clerk Moeko Maboee and whenever there are some misunderstandings, we want you to resolve them amicably. You have a mammoth task to unify the council and it is up to all of us to help you make that happen," Mr. Mothetsi.

Contacted for comment this week Local Government minister Sam Rapapa said he was confident that Mayor Thabane-Libate would deliver as expected.

"I have confidence in Ms Thabane-Libate and I believe that she is going to deliver as expected especially because she is conversant with governance and administration," Mr Rapapa said.

Mayor Thabane-Libate said although there was a lot of work, she was up for the challenge.

"I have accepted the responsibility that comes with the job and I am up for the challenge as I am aware that there is a lot to be done," Ms Thabane-Libate said.

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