Maseru | The prime minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane has ordered that Saturday the deployment of the army in the streets of the small kingdom, a new episode of the serious crisis in which he opposed his political opponents since his implication in the murder of his ex-wife.
During a speech-a surprise to the radio and national television, Mr. Thabane announced that the military intervention to “restore peace and order”.
“We are surprised that some people and institutions (…) are the principles and authority which will ensure the stability and the democracy in the country,” he said. “We have therefore deployed the army to regain control of the situation and take the necessary measures against its elements.”
Armed soldiers and teams of helmets and bullet-proof vests patrolled Saturday morning on foot or in armoured vehicles in the streets of the capital Maseru, has found an AFP journalist.
The chief of police and his two deputies have been arrested by the army, said on condition of anonymity to the AFP an official source.
No minister, head of the ruling party or the opposition could not immediately be reached.
These measures have been taken to avoid putting the nation in danger and to ensure his protection, as well as to try to stem the epidemic of Covid-19″, has also justified the prime minister.
Lesotho is going through a serious political crisis since the update cause there are several months of Mr. Thabane, 80 years, in the assassination on June 14, 2017 of his wife of the time, Lipolelo Thabane, with which it was then in the process of divorcing.
At the head of the small kingdom for more than two years, Mr. Thabane is expected to soon be formally charged for his involvement in this case.
His present wife Maesaiah Thabane, 43 years old, has already been formally accused in February of murdering his rival and placed on bail.
Deprived of the support of his party, the Convention of all the Basotho (ABC), since the case burst onto the public square, Thomas Thabane had announced in February his resignation “by the end of July”.
The Parliament has recently passed a law banning Mr. Thabane call for new elections in case the deputies would vote on a censure motion against him.
To hasten the departure of the head of the government, the CBA and several opposition parties have announced in the last month have reached an agreement to replace the present ministerial team as soon as possible.
The prime minister has reacted strongly denouncing “terrorist acts” and ordered security forces to open an investigation against its rivals.
Lesotho was placed under total containment until April 21, because of the pandemic of sars coronavirus. No case of contamination has so far been officially reported.
In the framework of these measures, Thomas Thabane has ordered the suspension of work of the Parliament for three months.
But on Friday, the country’s constitutional Court, seized by his party and the opposition, has cancelled this decision. “The prime minister’s decision to suspend the Parliament is null and void”, announced the judge Sakoane Sakoane at the hearing, “the Parliament can continue its work”.
Landlocked in the middle of South Africa, the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho has known since its independence in 1966 a history of political instability, punctuated by military coups.
Hit by unemployment, an aids epidemic that affects 23% of its 2 million inhabitants and a lack of public services, it is part of the poorest countries of the planet.