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Lesotho PM resigns

The Prime Minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane announced his resignation Thursday.

In a televised speech in the capital, Maseru, the 80-year old said the decision has been the hardest he’s made in his career.

“Today I wish to reiterate my announcement to retire from office. I might still have the necessary zeal and fervor to continue serving my people and country, but the truth is that at my age I have lost most of my energy. I’m not as energetic as I use to be a few years ago”, he said.

I appeal to all Basotho not to intentionally misconstrue my announcement to retire from office.

While there’s speculation that his resignation follows mounting pressure over his former and late wife, Thabane attributes his decision to the lack of eenrgy.

“My fellow countrymen and women it is very unfortunate that some have deliberately decided to distort my decision to retire either motivated by hate or for political gain. I appeal to all Basotho not to intentionally misconstrue my announcement to retire from office”, Thabane added.

The Prime Minister is expected to be charged with the murder of 58-year old Lilopelo Thabane, who was murdered in June 2017 by unknown assailants.

The couple was embroiled in a bitter divorce. Months after assuming office. Thabane married Lesotho’s current first lady, Maesaiah Thabane.

The 48 year old is also facing trial over the murder. She returns to court on March 17.



Lesotho’s Thomas Thabane to be charged with murdering his wife

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, 80, is to be charged with the murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane, police have said.

Mr Thabane announced he would be stepping down in July because of old age, without commenting about the case.

His current wife Maesaiah Thabane has already been charged with the murder.

He would be the first leader in southern Africa to be charged with murder while in office, in a case that has shocked the tiny mountain kingdom.

Lipolelo, 58, was shot dead two days before Mr Thabane became prime minister in 2017.

At the time, he described her killing as “senseless” but police now accuse him of being involved in her killing.

“The prime minister is going to be charged with the murder,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

“The police are preparing directives and he will probably be charged tomorrow [Friday],” he added.

Lipolelo was gunned down at close range on the side of a dirt road while returning to her home in a small village on the outskirts of the capital, Maseru.,

She was involved in bitter divorce proceedings with Mr Thabane when she was killed.

At the time, the prime minister was living with Maesaiah, 42, as if she was his wife.

But Lipolelo had already won a separate legal battle to be recognised as first lady, as opposed to Maesaiah.

Maesaiah accompanied Mr Thabane to his inauguration, following his estranged wife’s death.

Two months later she and Mr Thabane got married in a Catholic ceremony held at a packed stadium in Maseru.

Maesaiah was charged with her rival’s murder on 5 February, and is out on bail.

She has not yet been asked to plead to the charge.


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