The Prime Minister’s private jet was used by the government for the official visit of the Prime Minister Mr. Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane free of charge after three airlines conditions were not met due to the time limit.
In his response during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Limpho Tau said the Prime Minister had to take an official trip on November 16 this year to pay a courtesy call to Namibia’s President who is the chairperson of the SADC organ on defence and security in the region.
The Minister said the Prime Minister’s delegation included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, a Government Secretary, the Prime Minister’s Senior Private Secretary, a Chief of Protocol, a Member of Security, a Director in the Department of Politics in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations and Prime Minister’s Press Attaché.
He further said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations had resolved to hire a chartered flight to ferry Prime Minister and his delegation to and from Namibia so that he could return on time to attend the Speech from the Throne by His Majesty King Letsie III the following day.
The Minister said this was done after receiving three quotations from three airline companies thus; United Charter Services (PTY) LTD which demanded M1, 014,215.26, Owen Air which cost the trip M958,115.26 as well as Luxaviation which demanded (M53 000 US/D) M943,150.90.
However, he said the three companies’ conditions were that the government should pay 40 percent of the amount at hand and the balance, which is 60 percent before the departure, which he said was a tall order to meet hence the Prime Minister offered to use his private jet for free.
The Minister also highlighted that the Prime Minister has no interest to be reimbursed by the government.
He was responding to a question asked by a member of Parliament also the Leader of the Basotho National Party (BNP), Mr. Machesetsa Mofomobe who demanded to know whether the Private Jet belonging to a company owned by the Prime Minister was leased by the Government for Prime Minister’s trip to Namibia.
If so, he asked if the Minister could shed some light to the house on the total costs incurred by the Government for such leasing.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.