December 17, 2003

Thabane: No campaign to oust Trade Union Leader

Thabane: No campaign to oust Trade Union Leader

The Minister of Home Affairs and Public Safety, Tom Thabane, has vehemently denied allegations that he is on a campaign to oust the leader of the Lesotho Workers' Party and trade unionist, Billy Macaefa, from parliament when it is going to sit early next year. Allegations that Thabane was on a warpath to institute parliamentary disciplinary actions against Macaefa had surfaced following the recent clash between police and the textile workers belonging to the Factory Workers Union (FAWU) led by Macaefa. Addressing a press conference in Maseru, Thabane however stated: "I am happy that he is a member of parliament because he has a wide knowledge of labour issues. We need to have people like him in parliament to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country. I am the last person to want him to leave parliament". However, Thabane also emphasised that he was concerned that Macaefa was a leader of a trade union and a leader of a political party at the same time.

Meanwhile, Minister Thabane let know that maximum security during the festive season and, where necessary, members of the Lesotho Defence Force, would take all the necessary measures to ensure that lawlessness and crime were not the order of the day during the Christmas and New Year break. He indicated that police have been ordered to be visible and patrol all major commercial areas such as banks, bus stops and shops, and on major roads throughout the country. He made a special appeal to the public to refrain from using fireworks during this festive season as they promoted acts of crime. "We have talked to the Department of Trade to help us in this case by pleading with traders not to sell fireworks and crackers during this period. We know there is no law governing the sale of fireworks in the country. But we hope traders will cooperate and realize the importance of not selling them to the public," he said. (Mopheme/The Survivor, Maseru)

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