Maesiah Thabane

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Maesiah Thabane
First Lady of Lesotho
Assumed office
August 27, 2017
Prime MinisterTom Thabane
Preceded byMathato Mosisili
Personal details
Born
Liabiloe Ramoholi

(1977-04-16) 16 April 1977 (age 42)
Mokhotlong, Lesotho
Political partyAll Basotho Convention
Spouse(s)
Tom Thabane (m. 2017)

'Maesaiah or 'Maesiah Thabane (born 16 April 1977) is the wife of the prime minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane[1] and the first lady of Lesotho since her marriage to Thabane on 27 August 2017.[2][3]

On 10 January 2020, police issued an arrest warrant for Maesiah Thabane, who is wanted in connection for the 2017 shooting death of Tom Thabane's estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane.[4]

Biography[edit]

Born Liabiloe Ramoholi to Mosotho people, she married Prime Minister Tom Thabane on 27 August 2017 at a ceremony held at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru.[2]

Controversy[edit]

In May 2018, allegations arose that Maesiah Thabane Trust Fund Director Makarabo Mojakhomo and her husband, Ministry of Home Affairs officer Thabang Mojakhomo,[5] had defrauded the organisation founded by the first lady of up to M200'000. On May 21st, following Makarabo's disappearance from police custody, Amnesty International published a plea for "urgent action", reporting that "Makarabo's family fear that she has been subjected to enforced disappearance given the history of such cases in the country involving security forces".[6] Following Mojakhomo's reappearance in South Africa in May 2019, she reported fear that the first lady has "powers to control the police and the judiciary so [she] would not get a free and fair trial with her in control".[7]

Mrs. Thabane has been accused previously in September 2018 by Motlohi Maliehe, minister of tourism, environment and culture and chairman of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, of corrupt action.[8] Maliehe was fired from his ministerial position after he claimed Mrs. Thabane was "torpedoing government by seeking to control ministers and how they performed their duties" and "instigating the removal of ministers who refused to comply with her demands".[9] Such actions have supposedly contributed to the fracturing of Prime Minister Thabane's party (the ABC), one "clouded by" similar "disorderly behaviour".[10]

In opposition to the allegations brought forward by Mr. Maliehe, Mrs. Thabane cites frustration at "official bungling and government inertia", which "sometimes forced her to take matters into her own hands to ensure Basotho got [the] services they needed".[11] The first lady is particularly concerned about the lack of treatment available for cancer patients, as well as HIV/AIDS. In July 2019, she hosted the 12th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancers in Africa Conference (SCCA), which was attended by all African First Ladies.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Multitudes witness PM's wedding". The Lesotho Government Portal. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Multitudes witness PM's wedding". Government of Lesotho. 27 August 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  3. ^ Sello, Limpho (13 October 2017). "First Lady takes on HIV prevention role 1". Lesotho Times. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. ^ Mohloboli, Marafaele (20 January 2020). "Lesotho 1st lady's rise to infamy". The Sowetan. Archived from the original on 2020-01-20. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  5. ^ "Thabane fraud suspect granted M5k bail". Lesotho Times. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  6. ^ "Urgent Action: Trust Fund Boss Goes Missing From Police Custody (Lesotho: UA 113.18)". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  7. ^ Lescij, Lescij. "Heartbroken Mojakhomo speaks from exile". MNNCIJ. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  8. ^ "Prime minister apologises for disunity in the ruling party". country.eiu.com. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  9. ^ "The reasons behind Maesaiah's tantrums |". 24 May 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  10. ^ "Fractures weaken Lesotho's ruling party". amaBhungane. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  11. ^ "The reasons behind Maesaiah's tantrums". 24 May 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  12. ^ says, Kefuoehape mokolatsie (5 March 2019). "Doctorate for First Lady". Lesotho Times. Retrieved 2019-08-30.