New Lesotho PM Majoro says to focus on stability after scandal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Lesotho’s new prime minister Moeketsi Majoro said on Friday stabilising its political system was among his top priorities after replacing his scandal-hit predecessor last month.

Lesotho, a tiny mountainous kingdom that is entirely surrounded by South Africa, has seen several coups and waves of unrest since independence from Britain in 1966.

Majoro, who was previously finance minister, said it is critical the country moves quickly to set up a stable government to serve its people better.

“The people of Lesotho have welcomed our government with opened hands and in the (next) two years they would like us to focus as much as possible on services to them and to stop quibbling,” Majoro said during a courtesy call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria.

Majoro will stay in charge until scheduled elections in June 2022.

Former premier Thomas Thabane bowed to calls to resign in May, three months after police named him and his current wife Maesaiah as suspects in the murder of his estranged former spouse in a case that plunged Lesotho into a political crisis.

A new coalition government under Majoro was formed just before he was sworn in on May 20.

“Our hope and our intentions in negotiating a new coalition is (to) let us come together and seek to stabilize Lesotho’s coalition government, which has been fractious since 2012,” Majoro said.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Mark Heinrich