Lesotho PM resigns, misses court date

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FILE — In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, file photo Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Thabane's wife and First Lady, Maesaiah Thabane is in hiding from police, Tuesday Jan. 14, 2020, who want to question her over the June 14, 2017, killing of Thabane's former wife Lipolelo. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The Prime Minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane in a televised speech on Thursday resigned, stating that the decision has been the hardest he’s made in his career.

“Today I wish to reiterate my announcement to retire from office. I might still have the necessary zeal and fervor to continue serving my people and country, but the truth is that at my age I have lost most of my energy. I’m not as energetic as I use to be a few years ago”, he said.

“My fellow countrymen and women it is very unfortunate that some have deliberately decided to distort my decision to retire either motivated by hate or for political gain. I appeal to all Basotho not to intentionally misconstrue my announcement to retire from office”, Thabane added.

However, had not turned up for a court appearance over his wife’s death two hours after the hearing was meant to start on Friday, and police said they were unsure of his whereabouts.

Thabane was due in court at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) over the death of Lipolelo Thabane, who was shot dead in June 2017 near her home in the capital Maseru two days before he took office.

But by 11 a.m., Thabane was not at the court.

“I’m still trying to confirm his whereabouts and whether or not he will show up. We don’t know,” Deputy Police Commissioner Paseka Mokete said.

Thabane’s current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, has already been charged with ordering Lipolelo’s murder but is currently out on bail.

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