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Lesotho gets new Prime Minister after embattled Thabane exits


A new Prime Minister has been sworn into office in Lesotho following months of political wrangling that forced immediate past Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to resign.

Thabane was in attendance on Wednesday when former finance minister, Moeketsi Majoro, took his oath of office at the palace of King Letsie III in the capital Maseru.

The embattled former PM officially tendered his resignation on Tuesday, ending a political crisis caused by his alleged involvement in the assassination of his ex-wife in 2017.

“I come before you today to announce that the work you have entrusted me with may not be finished but the time has come for me to withdraw from the theatre of operations, to leave public life and my duties,” Mr Thabane said in a televised speech. He now faces the courts in a murder case that involves his former wife and the current wife. The murder of his ex-wife, Lipolelo Thabane, a few days before taking office in 2017 has been strongly linked to current wife Maesaiah Thabane.

Police believe the ex-PM also had a hand in the murder. The two have denied any wrongdoing.

His own party, the All Basoto Convention (ABC), and its governing coalition have been urging him to resign but the octogenarian has been hanging on to his post tooth and nail. He had only pledged to leave office “by the end of July” because of his age.

Last month, Thabane did not hesitate to take the army to the streets of the capital Maseru to, according to him, “restore order” in the face of his political enemies, who he described as factious.

Under South African mediation, the coalition government then undertook to allow a “dignified” exit for the prime minister. But the prime minister repeatedly refused to set the slightest date for his departure.

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