“I decided to personally come and inform you that I am stepping down as prime minister of Lesotho”; this is what he told supporters in his Abia home constituency on the outskirts of the capital Maseru, says AFP news agency.
Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane has announced his resignation, following months of pressure after being suspected for the murder of his ex-wife, Lipolelo Thabane.
It is not certain when in particular he will leave as he did not say. However, his party said a new premier would be sworn in on Tuesday 19th May, 2020.
Thabane’s current wife was charged in connection with the killing in February being that she was living with him during that period; though they both denied having anything to do with the case.
He became a suspect for the murder case early this year but, he has not been formally charged yet, having immunity from prosecution due to his position as Prime Minister.
Thabane lost his majority in parliament last week and a new government is expected to be installed on Friday.
What happened to Lipolelo Thabane?
She was shot and killed by some gunmen on 14 June 2017 , two days before Mr. Thabane was sworn in as prime minister. It was reported that the 58 years old woman who was living apart from her husband since 2012, was going through a bitter divorce around the time.
There was ambush day on her way home and she got shot several times at close range. She died on the side of the road.
Thabane had moved in with his current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, some time between 2012 and 2017. He appeared in court in February for acting in “common purpose” even though not formally charged yet.
What has been hold him back from resigning?
For some reason, he has not resigned even after his announcement of stepping down. There may have been some sort of negotiation in play, delaying him from giving up the seat and facing the charges against him.
He is definitely not getting support from All Basotho Convention (ABC) as this was made known to one of BBC’s journalists, Pumza Fihlani by a spokesperson for ABC.
Thabane has resisted immense pressure from his own party to resign earlier. And he has been adamant, refusing to step down until July.
He cited old age as the reason for his resignation, without mentioning the murder case.
South African mediators, some time in April, negotiated a deal, pledging a “dignified” exit; nevertheless, a few days later it was reported that he said he will not be pushed to leave but, on his own terms, when the time is right to do so.
(By Miss bimbom)
Photo credit: BBC