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John embroiled in AD t-shirts brawl

SECHABA MOKHETHI A triangular battle between controversial Lesotho businessman Yan ‘John’ Xie, the Alliance of Democrats (AD) party and Durban clothing company over election campaign t-shirts worth more than M1-million has landed up in the Lesotho High Court. The MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism has heard allegations that Xie agreed to pay for 50 000 t-shirts used

Lesotho groans under hefty data price rises

Data giants-VCL and ETL-also accused of ducking regulatory levies and government loan repayments TUMISANG SERAME Skyrocketing data prices continue to hit the pockets of poor Basotho consumers. Yet an investigation by the MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism (the Centre ) has found that one of Lesotho’s mobile network companies has defaulted on regulatory fees, while the other

Government and corporates suck LEC dry

…allegedly owe nearly M200 million in bill arrears KEISO MOHLOBOLI and MANTSALI PHAKOANA The government owes the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) more than M50 million in unpaid electricity bills while private companies and some embassies owe the struggling state-owned enterprise an additional M140 million, MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism can reveal. The size of debt

Wool and Mohair farmers in limbo, despite victory

BILLY NTAOTE The Lesotho Parliament has agreed to scrap a controversial ban on the export of locally produced wool and mohair – but there is no end in sight to the woes of the country’s 40 000 mainly poor producers The decision by MPs followed a sustained campaign by farmers, their association and opposition parties, alleging

Multinational company captures Lesotho cannabis regulators

Ministry 'knew nothing‘ of their links with UK multinational SECHABA MOKHETHI Two senior Lesotho health ministry officials who oversee cannabis industry licensing in Lesotho are linked to a London-based company that plans to invest in the manufacture of medicinal cannabis in the kingdom, the MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism has learnt. The company, Afriag

Senti takes on PAC over fraud report

…Deputy PS institutes legal action against parliament’s accounts committee after damning police uniform tender report   MANTŠALI PHAKOANA The Ministry of Police and Public Safety’s Deputy Principal Secretary (DPS), Ezekiel Senti, has instructed his attorney to institute legal action against the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for alleged defamation of character. The move follows parliament’s adoption of the PAC’s report on 29

Big Lesotho airport upgrade opens old wounds

SECHABA MOKHETHI In 1982, while Lesotho’s constitution was suspended under Leabua Jonathan’s government, local communities had their land expropriated without compensation and were forcibly relocated to make way for the Moshoeshoe I International Airport outside Maseru. The current government’s plan to upgrade the airport at a total cost of M5-billion (R5-billion) has reopened these historical wounds and

AD bigwigs feed on rural water project

SECHABA MOKHETHI and BILLY NTAOTE Have you ever found yourself stranded in rural Lesotho with a dire need to quench your thirst or answer the call of nature, but were forced to do your business in the bushes or drink from an unprotected well? If your answer is “yes”, be aware that this might have been

Heartbroken Mojakhomo speaks from exile

…says will only come to Lesotho when ‘Maesaiah is no longer First Lady KEISO MOHLOBOLI As yet another year rumbles on in Lesotho, it certainly seems to continue bearing the drama, fear and uncertainty of the past and more so for exiled mother-of-four ‘Makarabo Mojakhomo. Mojakhomo was the ‘Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund Director until her arrest on 29 May 2018 for

The plight of abandoned police officers in far-flunked posts

…leaving communities crime-ridden KEISO MOHLOBOLI It certainly doesn’t look like a police station but a crumbling mining compound whose very right to exist literally ended the moment management decided it no longer made economic sense to continue with the mining operation. But this is not a deteriorating, once-thriving mine now dying a very slow and painful death