Lesotho’s PM fires four ministers

By Nangayi Guyson – Maseru – AFP- The prime minister of Lesotho has fired four of his ministers and a deputy, the first major cabinet reshuffle in nine years, his office said on Wednesday.

The ministers of trade and industry, tourism, agriculture, and forestry and the deputy minister of education were all sacked and replaced by stalwarts of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy who are seen as loyal to Mosisili.

The sacking has sparked speculation that an increase in factional infighting within the leadership of the party led to the shake-up.

“His Majesty King Letsie III has in line with the advice of the right honourable prime minister decided to make the changes in cabinet,” Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s office said in a statement.

This is the first major reshuffle by Mosisili since 2001, when he fired his deputy, Kelebone Maope.

His party has been fighting a bitter dispute with opposition parties, which accuse it of taking more seats in parliament than it actually won in a 2007 election.

Mosisili has been prime minister of the small mountain kingdom, which is entirely surrounded by South Africa, since 1998.