MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Sunday urged voters in Mafeteng not to vote for his deputy Lesao Lehohla whom he accused of betrayal.
Lehohla is the MP for Mafeteng constituency and is seeking re-election to parliament on a Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) ticket.
Lehohla stayed with the LCD when Mosisili broke away to form his Democratic Congress (DC) party in February.
He however retained his post as deputy prime minister.
Addressing about 5 000 people at an election campaign rally in Mafeteng on Sunday, about 80km south of Maseru, Mosisili urged party supporters to ditch Lehohla.
“I deemed it wise to come to tell you that we have parted (ways with LCD) and that I have come to tell you not to elect Lehohla because he is not loyal,” Mosisili said.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Lehohla said: “I have nothing to say but laugh.”
He refused to elaborate.
Mosisili said he had in 2007 openly campaigned for Lehohla telling voters in Mafeteng to elect the deputy prime minister because he was still loyal to him.
However, the situation had changed and they should now vote for the DC candidate in Mafeteng, Liranyane Thamae, in a bid to sweep all eight constituencies in the district.
Thamae is the DC youth league deputy public relations officer.
“The former premier, Dr Ntsu Mokhehle taught us that people who are disloyal to the electorate are not worthy of being elected,” Mosisili said to roars of approval from the crowd at the Bantu Football Club playground.
The premier urged voters to elect his DC party in the May 26 election to ensure peace in the country.
Mosisili was also at pains to explain his decision to dump the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) when he formed the DC in February.
He said the LCD’s national executive committee had chosen to work independently while ignoring the wishes of the people.
He said he had no alternative but to follow in the steps of Mokhehle who quit the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) and formed the LCD in 1997.
“We could not work with the national executive committee that refused to respect the will and the voice of the people and just like Ntate Ntsu Mokhehle who left BCP after 45 years, I left LCD after 15 years,” he said.
Mosisili added: “The reason I am here is that I have come to the people to ask them to pronounce their own verdict as the judgment day is drawing nearer. I could not work with people who disregarded the people’s will.”
Mosisili said if the DC wins the May 26 general election, his government would continue to consolidate the peace and development that had been the hallmark of his government.
He said his government will also continue to defend the institution of the chieftainship in Lesotho; adding the government recognises their role as agents of stabilisation.
He asked the multitudes of people who turned up for the rally to elect his new party, especially because it focused on development projects for the youths and women.
Mosisili said he was confident that his newly-formed DC would make history when it becomes government after only three months of existence.
Speaking at the same rally, the DC’s youth league president, Mosala Mojakisane, said they are working with the Independent Electoral Commission to ensure peace during the voting period.
Mojakisane appealed to DC youths to refrain from violence and from provoking other political parties.
Eight constituencies are up for grabs in the district in this month’s election.
These are Mafeteng, Qalabane, Likhoele, Kolo, Matelile, Thabana-Morena, Thaba-Phechela and ‘Maliepetsane.