Two days to her husband’s inauguration, Lipolelo Thabane, 58 years, the wife of Thomas Thabane, Lesotho’s new Prime Minister was shot and immediately died on the scene.
Lipolelo Thabane who was on Wednesday night traveling home with a friend, was shot by an unknown assailant together with her friend. The unfortunate tragedy happened in the town of Masana, found just outside the country’s capital Maseru.
“Miss Thabane died on the scene while her friend was quickly rushed to the nearby hospital in a critical condition,” said Clifford Molefe, the police spokesperson.
“The motive of the shooting was and is still unknown but, investigations are going on and the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” he added.
It is however said that, Thabane (the prime minister) and Lipolelo had been living separately since 2012. This was so because Thabane had filed a divorce which had yet to be granted by the court.
The incident has raised fears and unease of political violence in the country.
The Prime Minister, according to Samonyane Ntsekele, the secretary general of his All Basotho Convention party (ABC) was very devastated by the killing.
However, Thomas Thabane, was still able to inaugurate on Friday, just two days after his wife’s death.
Thomas Thabane won the seat after the elections’ results were announced. The election took place on 3rd of June and Pakalitha Mosisili, the then Prime Minister, was Thabane’s biggest political rival.
The inauguration was held at the National Stadium in the presence of King Lestie III and other dignitaries from the Southern African region.
Edgar Lungu, the president of Zambia, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy South African president and Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, the prime minister of Swaziland were all present for the inauguration.
Pakalitha Mosisili, the outgoing Prime Minister also attended, to hand over the National flag to the new Prime Minister.
In his inaugural speech, Thabane thanked his predecessor (Mosisili) for facilitating the smooth transfer of power. He also said that, the two, would “remain friends forever”.
Thomas Thabane also commented about the killing of his wife in his speech, for the first time.
“I am mourning her death, and the senseless killing of people like this … is one of the many challenges that I am faced with as the new prime minister,” he said.
Reporter: Namuddu Shamilah