Lesotho Religion

A large majority of Lesothians are Christians. The largest communities are the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and some other Protestant communities. The churches have traditionally taken great responsibility for the school system.

Some Lesothians still practice traditional indigenous religions with elements such as religious beliefs and ancestral worship. Even among many Christians, traditional beliefs and religious practices are still alive.

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Lesotho, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.

2020

June

Mrs. Thabane in custody for murder

June 3

Lesotho’s former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, returns to the detention center. Mrs Thabane is suspected of being behind the murder of her husband, former head of government, Thomas Thabane’s ex-wife Lipolelo Thabane (see January 11, 2020). She was indicted in February for murder but released on bail. The Court of Appeal has decided that she should be arrested. A week later, according to a written testimony, the news agency AFP found out that Thabane spouses had given the killers $ 24,000 as a first payment for the murder of Lipolelo Thabane. More money would later be paid out in different rounds, according to the testimony. Thomas Thabane was Prime Minister of Lesotho until the middle of May when he left office after strong pressure (see 19 May 2020). He has also been questioned in connection with the murder of Lipolelo Thabane. No charge has been brought against the former prime minister.

May

The Minister of Finance takes over as head of government

May 19th

Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro is installed as new prime minister since Thomas Thabane announced in a televised speech that he is leaving. It happens a week after Thabane’s own party ABC and two alliance parties withdrew their support for Thabane’s coalition government. Thabane states his high age as a reason for leaving office early. Earlier this year, Thabane was involved in a murder investigation involving his ex-wife (see January 6, 2020). Thabane refuses to interfere.

First case of covid-19

May 13th

The first case of covid-19 is found in a citizen who returned after studying in Saudi Arabia. Lesotho is the only country in Africa that has so far not registered any case of the viral disease.

Restrictions are lifted on trial

May 5th

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane decides to lift the restrictions introduced on March 29 to prevent the spread of covid-19. The country is the only one in Africa that so far has not registered a single case of the new viral disease. The reliefs are, to begin with, the test. The country’s borders remain closed and anyone staying in public places must wear mouthguards.

April

No prosecution immunity for the prime minister

The country’s largest party All Basotho Convention (ABC) refuses Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s request for prosecution immunity. The prime minister is suspected of involvement in the murder of his ex-wife (see January 6, 2020). Parliament has also pushed through a change in the Constitution that prevents Thabane from dissolving Parliament and announcing new elections.

Amended plan for the Prime Minister’s departure

April 21

South African mediator Jeff Radebe and Lesotho’s Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki, announce that they have agreed to give controversial Prime Minister Thomas Thabane a “worthy end” to his political career. Under the agreement, the Prime Minister is to resign immediately. In an attempt to regain control of the situation, Thabane ordered the military to patrol the capital’s streets a few days earlier. The prime minister then claimed that the country’s democracy was under threat.

Minister violates coronary restrictions

April 9

The Minister of Police and Security, Lehlohonolo Moramotse, is under investigation for violating the restrictions set by the government in the fight against covid-19. The minister was filmed buying alcohol, which has been banned since March 29 when Lesotho began a 24-day shutdown of the country. To date, no corona failure has been registered in Lesotho.

New battle against the country’s leaders

April 3

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is fighting for his political survival. He accuses rival party members of his All Basotho Convention (ABC) of attempting to stage a coup and oust the government. Thabane has previously pledged to resign on July 31 after suspicions that he was involved in the murder of his ex-wife (see Feb 25, 2020). A faction within ABC, with Vice Party leader Nqosa Mahao, wants to get him to leave earlier.

February

Hard party pressure gets the prime minister on a case

February 25th

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has set July 31 as the date he plans to step down. Since Thabane’s 80-year-old was charged with involvement in the murder of his ex-wife, his ruling party All Basotho Convention (ABC) has demanded that he resign immediately (see January 6, 2020). At the beginning of the week, Thabane appeared in the district court in the capital Maseru. No formal prosecution was brought against the Prime Minister and the case has been transferred to the Supreme Court.

The country’s first lady is charged with murder

February 4th

Lesotho’s first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, surrenders to the police and is charged with the brutal murder of Prime Minister Lipolelo Thabane’s ex-wife. In January, Maesaiah Thabane disappeared without a trace since the police called her for questioning in connection with the murder investigation (see January 11, 202 0).

January

Prime Minister in police interrogation for murder

January 22

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is questioned by police in connection with the investigation into the murder of his wife Lipolelo Thabane in 2017. Thabane has pledged to resign as prime minister since he was accused of participating in the murder. He has not set a date for when he plans to resign.

The prime minister’s wife is being chased by the police

January 11

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wife Maesaiah Thabane appears to have gone underground in an attempt to avoid being questioned in an investigation into the murder of Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo Thabane. The country’s police chief has accused Thabane of being involved when Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead by unknown men in 2017 (see January 6, 2020). The investigators also wanted to hear Maesaiah Thabane, but when she did not appear at the police, a court issued an order for her to be arrested. However, Mrs Thabane could not be found when the police came to the Prime Minister’s residence to execute the order.

There is no end to party fractions

7 th of January

The power struggle within the ruling ABC party rolls on when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his supporters reject an invitation to peace from a rival party faction. A few days earlier, the Supreme Court had ruled that Thabane had made a mistake when in June he excluded Deputy Party Leader Nqosa Mahao and four others from the party (see June 14, 2019). Through the verdict, Mahao and the other four were given the right to resume the positions they were elected to at the party congress in February. At the same time, the appointments made by Thabane were annulled on the same items. Following the victory in court, Mahaos and his followers announced that they were ready to make peace with Thabane, but the invitation was rejected by Thabane’s camp, which also rejected the verdict.

The Prime Minister is drawn into murder investigation

January 6

The country’s police chief Holomo Molibeli accuses Prime Minister Thomas Thabane of being involved in the murder of his former wife Lipolelo Thabane. Mrs Thabane was shot to death by unknown men on the outskirts of the capital in June 2017, two days before Thabane’s installation as head of government. The couple was in divorce since 2012. The separation was delayed, among other things, by the couple disagreeing on who would be called the kingdom’s first lady, Lilopelo or Thabane’s then fiancee Maesaiah, whom he married a few months after the murder. The police chief claims that he has recordings showing that Prime Minister Thabane’s cellphone was in contact with a telephone at the site of the murder.

Lesotho Religion