Bid to block ‘Maseribane, Matete from BNP presidency

MASERU — Former Basotho National Party (BNP) publicity secretary Majara Molapo wants secretary general Ranthomeng Matete and deputy leader Thesele ‘Maseribane barred from contesting for the presidency of the party.

The BNP is scheduled to elect a new leader at a conference set for March 25 to 27.

In a letter to the BNP national executive committee dated March 11, Molapo says he will sue the party if it allows Matete and ‘Maseribane to contest for the presidency.

He says as custodians of the party’s administration the two should not be allowed to contest for the presidency.

Matete and ‘Maseribane, Molapo argues, cannot be rule-makers of the contest, be its commissioners and at the same time “be the referee or the umpire of that same contest”.

“It defies logic how one can at the same time be a contesting player of the same game. Surely what I say makes sense,” Majara says. 

Majara says Matete and ‘Maseribane should withdraw from the race.

He says he was shocked when he read in two local newspapers recently that the pair had decided to contest for the BNP presidency.

“I find their candidatures not only to be most absurd and untenable in terms of all the rules of fairness, abuse of office and bias,” Majara says in the letter.

“In fact, this defies all the rules of natural justice as expounded by our laws and any reasonable logic.”

He says if the BNP national executive fails to thrash out the matter amicably he is going to raise the matter in court.

“And unless they themselves both revisit their unpopular decision and take the only and most sensible route of withdrawing their purported candidature for the presidency, seeking the legal route is the only remedy left,” Majara says.   

Majara says if the party fails to deal with the matter the letter that he penned would serve as adequate notice that I shall approach courts of law with a prayer for a rule nisi.

“Its purpose would be to seek the honourable court’s injunction in this imbroglio, ultimately that you show cause why such rule should not be confirmed and a final interdict be granted against you, in the form of an order of the court,” Molapo says.  

Molapo however does not state how Matete and ‘Maseribane’s candidature would violate the party’s constitution.

Asked on Monday about this, Molapo admitted that the BNP leaders had not “violated any section of the BNP constitution”.

BNP spokesperson Letlafuoa Molapo told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday that the call by Molapo was null and void.

He said although Majara could be justified from a perspective of natural justice “the constitution has not been violated”.

“In fact, as far as the BNP constitution is concerned, the call for the duo to withdraw from the contest is null and void,” Molapo said.

“We sat down and explored his argument from all angles. But we have ascertained beyond doubt that there’s no violation (of the constitution) whatsoever.”

There was neither a clause nor section of the BNP constitution which said people could not contest vacant posts in the executive if they were members of the same committee, Molapo said.

“The late BNP leader Rets’elisitsoe Sekhonyana was chairman of the executive committee when he contested the party’s leadership and so was Major General Metsing Lekhanya.”

Another contestant, Pius Molapo said although he respected Molapo’s decision to take the legal route “I have nothing against Matete and ‘Maseribane”.

“If they want to contest, fine by me. Just as long as I receive all the services I need from the executive committee without bias,” he said.

He however added that the brewing confusion was as a result of weaknesses in the BNP constitution which did not provide solutions for situations “such as this”.

“The document was drafted to tailor around one person. If I become BNP leader, the first thing I will do is seek constitutional reforms,” Molapo said.

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