Why a member of Lesotho Parliament took away the Mace?

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Maseru, October 29 – The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) Member of Parliament for the Qoaling Constituency, Chalane Phori, argued that he took the mace from the parliament of Lesotho because the House was not discussing business assigned by His Majesty King Letsie III and Maseru Facilitation Declaration.

Phori who picked up the mace and walked out with it to the office of the Speaker yesterday, causing 15 minutes (3:05pm to 3:20pm) suspension of the House featured in the Lesotho Television news saying the parliament was reopened to allocate the budget and prepare for elections, but some members of the House seem to be interested in other issues.

Lesotho Parliament snapped from the north wing
Lesotho Parliament snapped from the north wing

In the latest development, today the parliament of Lesotho began its session at 14hrs30min with its agenda being an order paper proposing a leave to introduce a private member’s bill;

“That this Honourable House resolves to grant leave for the Hon. Members to introduce the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution Bill; A Bill for an Act to provide for the abolition of prorogation and for the King to consult the Council of State where he has been advised by the Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament”so read the motion by Hon. K. Mathaba and Hon. V.M. Malebo.

According to the Parliament of Lesotho Hansard dated 28th October, 2014, Phori took away the mace while the house was discussing a proposed leave to introduce a private member’s Bill by Malebo. While other members were arguing that the motion was addressing the King’s call to amend the Constitution of Lesotho if it has loop wholes, others were opposing the motion on private members’ Bill saying it was not in conformity to the Maseru Facilitation Declaration and the 17th October, 2104 speech from the throne.

While the bone of contention is on conformity to the His Majesty’s speech and Declaration signed by political parties’ leaders before the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission led by the South African Deputy President Cyrial Ramaphosa, a member of the Lesotho Parliament Thabang Kholumo of the Popular Front for Democracy was on a local radio station arguing that there was no declaration that supersedes the laws of Lesotho.

Phori is to be investigated for alleged misconduct by the parliamentary committee responsible for the conduct of legislators while in the House.

The Deputy Speaker Rakuoane told a local radio station on today Phori might find himself hauled before the committee for a gross misconduct. The committee, he added, would probe the incident and thereafter make recommendations.

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