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Lesotho PM Steps Down Amid Murder Scandal



Lesotho’s embattled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announced his resignation on Monday, ending months of political uncertainty gripping the kingdom since he was accused of participating in his ex-wife’s murder.

Thabane’s political rivals have piled pressure on the prime minister to step down early over allegations that he had a hand in the brutal 2017 shooting of Lipolelo Thabane, whom he was divorcing.

His coalition was disbanded in parliament last week and he had been expected to resign by May 22, when a new government is due to be installed.

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“I decided to personally come and inform you that I am stepping down as prime minister of Lesotho,” Thabane told supporters in his Abia home constituency on the outskirts of the capital Maseru.

The 80-year-old did not state when he would formally quit but government spokesman Nthakeng Selinyane said the premier would officially “announce his resignation” in an address to the nation on Tuesday.

“It is rather difficult to part ways with something that you had been accustomed to and leave people behind, but we all have to leave at some point,” Thabane added.

For the time being, he will remain leader of his ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC), he said.

Thabane, whose term is due to end in 2022, had in January set himself a target of leaving office by July 31 because of his advanced age.

But Lesotho has been plagued by political instability since the start of this year, when police said they found Thabane’s mobile number in communications records from the scene of his estranged wife’s murder.

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