Lesotho Prime Minister resigns after months of pressure over alleged involvement in murder of estranged wife
Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has resigned after months of pressure over his alleged involvement in the murder of his estranged wife in 2017.
In a televised address Tuesday morning, Thabane said the time for him to retire “from the great theater of action, take leave from public office” had come.
The official resignation comes after the 80-year-old Thabane repeatedly said that he would retire.
Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo, was shot by gunmen shortly before his inauguration as the Prime Minister of the tiny African nation. The couple were separated and had been pursuing a divorce before her death.
His current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, has been charged in the murder and has been granted bail.
The country’s police also sought to charge the Prime Minister with Thabane’s murder, but his lawyers argue he should be granted immunity against prosecution.
Both the Prime Minister and his wife have not spoken publicly about the allegations, but for months the tiny mountain kingdom has been roiled by the scandal.
On Tuesday, Thabane blamed his resignation on rival politicians seeking political gain. And continued to claim that his departure was voluntary.
“When I made a voluntary announcement in January this year to retire from office on or before 31 July, I did so with all sincerity because of my full conviction and belief that to everything, there is a season; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted,” he said, quoting scripture.
He will be replaced by his finance minister Moeketsi Majoro who will be inaugurated Wednesday.
By David McKenzie, CNN