• Fears there is a bullet with his name on it
• Botswana ministers deny knowledge of his presence
Former Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled to Botswana on Tuesday after uncovering a plot to assassinate him, media reports have indicated.
However, on Friday afternoon a number of Government sources contacted to verify Thabane’s presence pleaded ignorance to the development.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and that of Defence Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi said that they were not aware of Thabane’s presence in Botswana.
“Ask the people at immigration maybe they are aware of his presence in Botswana because personally I am not aware of that,” said Venson-Moitoi in an interview.
Kgathi said that he could have been aware if the former Lesotho Prime Minister has fled to Botswana, “and I have not seen any international news item talking about him fleeing to Gaborone.”
Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay said he was on leave and referred this publication back to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Thabane, who to Pakalitha Mosisili in the elections in March this year, is said to have instituted an investigation which showed him that there is a plot to kill him. It is not the first time Thabane fled Lesotho fearing for his life as he did that nine months ago while still a Prime Minister and sought refuge in neighbouring South Africa.
During the first asylum, some members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) whom allegedly tried to assassinate him denied the accusations. The first assassination attempt was prompted by his refusal to open Parliament when a motion of no confidence was mooted against him after his government instituted corruptions allegations against some leading Lesotho politicians.
A Maseru-based journalist confirmed in an interview that Thabane has fled to Botswana and was interviewed by one of the local radio stations in Lesotho while in Botswana.
“He said that he travelled to Botswana because some people wanted to kill him and that he might go to South Africa if he is not welcomed in Botswana,” said the journalist. It was not clear whether he brought his family with him to Gaborone.
After Thabane fled to Pretoria, South Africa last year SADC intervened to bring order to the mountainous kingdom which is prone to conflicts.
Trouble for him started when the coalition government his party All Basotho Congress (ABC) formed with Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) led by the then deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing fell apart and left security forces polarised between the two leaders.
The South African government on behalf of SADC led by its deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa brokered a deal with warring factions to have elections earlier than the set year of 2017 in order to bring stability to the mountain kingdom.
The elections led to another coalition between Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (LDC) and Metsing of LCD. Though Thabane’s party garnered 46 seats against Mosisili’s Democratic Congress’s 47 seats he was excluded from the coalition government which some political experts said might bring more conflict for the country.