AD joins the fray in condemning M5000 fuel allowance
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…Litjobo and Phamotse apologise
By Mamello Mosaefane
Alliance of Democrats has released a statement standing against the issuance of M5000 fuel allowances to Member of Parliament in shock contradiction to a position earlier taken by its Secretary General Mahali Phamotse and Spokesperson Thuso Litjobo.
The change of position on the issuance of fuel allowances to the tune of M5000 monthly to members of parliament that had sparked much public outcry has forced both hamotse and Litjobo to retract their earlier statements in support of the issuance of the allowances.
Phamotse, had on Monday emphasised that it is at this tough time that they need the fuel allowance to cater for their frequent travels to deliver services and food parcels to their respective constituents.
She however, after issuance of the AD’s statement said she “must” adhere to the party’s principles as directed by the national executive committee.
AD, in it’s statement said it is against and condemns the M5000 fuel allowance, claiming they have realised it was ruling parties means to blindfold members of parliament, particularly the opposition while ministers get a hefty 10 percent salary increase amid dwindling national resources.
The Leader of the House, Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu had this week told parliament on Monday that the M5000 fuel allowance issue was agreed upon by all political parties and will benefit all members of parliament as they do need the allowance.
But AD now contest Mokhothu’s claim arguing the allowance is Mokhothu’s shady act intended to blindside opposition.
AD also said it was a very clever way of the government to trick MPs and Basotho to give themselves a 10 percent salary increase, while all other public servants have seen no increase due to the economic decline caused by Covid-19.
AD said the fuel allowance issues has negatively affected AD’s principles and made it necessary for some of its MPs who had supported the M5000 fuel allowance to be reminded they do not reflect their individual wishes, but those of party before parliament.
Phamotse said it is a right thing for them to adhere to principles and accept that they did not abide by them in supporting the allowance.
AD spokesperson, Litjobo, who was also firmly in support of the allowance, said he accepts to be corrected by the party national executive committee.
“I know you want to hear us say it. we apologise to Basotho for supporting the M5000 petrol allowance,” Litjobo said.
AD said its leader former Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki will bring to parliament a motion suggesting to the house that cabinet minister’s 10 percent salary increases and the M5000 fuel allowance be withdrawn.
AD, seemingly in support of a motion before the house already by Democratic Party of Lesotho leader Limpho Tau said it intends to make a suggestion to parliament that government should dedicate the money to sectors or people that have been badly hit by Covid-19.
AD has furthermore said it will bring a motion to parliament for the formation of an independent committee that shall ensure that the cabinet ministers do not increase their own salaries as they wish, and the committee will deal with MPs, Ministers and other government senior officials’ remuneration related issues and their benefits.
AD said to honour its word if the government goes ahead to issue the fuel allowance the party will donate the fuel allowance to sectors that they suggest the government gives it to.