Director of Lesotho’s electoral body suspended as elections are set for next February

The Director of Elections Mr. Mphasa Mokhochane of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Lesotho has been suspended over missing registration machines, as the government realizes M30 million (US$3 million) of the needed M250 million (US$25 million) budget for the February 2015 polls.

A sign banner at one of the Independent Electoral Commission's registration centres in Lesotho
A sign banner at one of the Independent Electoral Commission’s registration centres in Lesotho

Last week the IEC told the media and political party leaders of disappearance of 21 laptops of the Mobile Registration Units (MRUs). 11 more laptops could not be accounted for. There were 611 MRUs bought for the 2012 general elections’ voter registration and the same machines must be used in the voter registration in preparation for upcoming general assemble elections.

According to the IEC Chairperson Justice Mahapela Lehohla suspension of the director will provided for conducive environment for investigation on the disappearance of the machines.

While the IEC reported that it was assured by its Information Technology Department that the disappeared machines will not affect the commission’s operations, the Chairperson suspects sinister motive behind disappearance of the machines.

Voter registration has started in the country to prepare for the elections that were brought forward from 2017 to February, 2015 as agreed by Lesotho political party leaders in an agreement reached under SADC mediation to the current political situation in Lesotho.


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