Metsing vows the LCD will not ‘die’ while he is its leader
LESOTHO Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader Mothetjoa Metsing has said he is “at war” and now always carries his traditional fighting stick, popularly known as ‘lebetlela’, when attending campaign rallies.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who made the declaration during an LCD rally in Mount Moorosi on Sunday, said he was particularly fighting his former allies in the coalition government — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Sports Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane.
Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Chief ‘Maseribane’s Basotho National Party (BNP) formed a coalition government with the LCD in June 2012, but the alliance has since disintegrated, prompting a snap election next month.
Mr Metsing blamed an “unholy” alliance between Chief ‘Maseribane and Dr Thabane — which he said saw him being side-lined by the two — for the collapse of the government whose term was supposed to end in 2017.
“It all started in December 2013 and the hostilities continued until the Thaba Phechela and Thaba Moea by-elections held in February 2014,” Mr Metsing said.
“Thabane had thought the ABC was going to absorb the LCD, but to his shock, our party came second behind the Democratic Congress (DC) in the two by-elections.
“This clearly showed him that the LCD was actually growing as a party, and he realised that his plans would not succeed.”
The LCD leader also said Dr Thabane had allegedly planned to take away ministries which had been allocated to his party at the formation of the coalition government.
“He was planning all this together with ‘Maseribane. They first attempted to suspend parliament in March 2014 so that they could be able to fire LCD ministers and take over our ministries but failed because they approached His Majesty King Letsie III without me, as part of government.
“This happened again, and this time, the prorogation succeeded (on 10 June 2014) because His Majesty failed to convince that ‘Lekhoakhoa’ man that prorogation was never a solution to the challenges he was facing as prime minister,” Mr Metsing told the rally.
It was after the prorogation that the LCD decided to look for another partner and found a willing companion in the form of its offshoot, the Democratic Congress (DC), Mr Metsing added.
However, Mr Metsing assured party supporters the LCD would “never die” during his watch.
“I bet with my life, the LCD won’t die while I am its leader. Nobody will scare me into abandoning the party and I promise not to surrender democracy to people who have clearly shown that they are oppressive,” he said.
“This country’s democracy came at a high cost; some of us have relatives who died for this country’s peace and stability, so we cannot betray them by giving it away so cheaply.”
Mr Metsing also said the BNP and ABC leaders had shown their “incompetence” by missing parliament whenever debates were lined-up.
The deputy premier also vowed that, after next month’s election, Basotho would respect the LCD “while certain people will be seen running away from their own country”.
He added: “Five days after the elections, some people will definitely run for their lives and escape this country because they would have been humiliated.”
Meanwhile, Mr Metsing said he was proud that unlike Dr Thabane, he had never disclosed confidential state information to foreigners.
“Because he is being protected by foreign security, mostly from South Africa, Thabane has been obliged to disclose confidential state information,” he said. “This means the whole world now knows our government inside-out and everything that happens at State House.”
However, in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Chief ‘Maseribane said he had “no interest in the life or death” of another political party.
“I don’t have any interest in the life or death of any political party; that is why I will not go out of my way to kill another political party,” Chief ‘Maseribane said.
“The only interest I have is the growth and development of the BNP and people should not speak for the sake of saying something when addressing their rallies; they should be realistic, factual and truthful.”
ABC Secretary General Samonyane Ntsekele also said Mr Metsing should interrogate issues before speaking publicly about them.
“Metsing has shown how irrational he is by accusing our leader of corruption, while he (Dr Thabane) has never been seen in the courts of law because of corruption cases, like him,” Mr Ntsekele said.
“Dr Thabane is not afraid of being investigated by anyone, anytime. No one would see him questioning procedures or demanding foreign judges should that happen because he is clean.
“But we all know that Metsing has done these two, because like they say, the guilty are always afraid.”