BNP leadership contest gets ugly
- as aspiring leaders publicly accuse current leadership of corruption
THE race for the Basotho National Party (BNP) leadership is increasingly turning ugly. This after three of the six contestants last week went on national radio to accuse the party’s current national executive committee (NEC) of corruption.
The three are Professor Lehlohonolo Mosotho, ‘Mota Nkuoatsana and ‘Mamotsepe Motseoa. They have since been slapped with letters demanding that they retract their statements and apologise for their conduct “which is likely to bring the party into disrepute”.
The letters were authored by BNP secretary general, Tšepo Lethobane, on 14 April 2021.
“I write this letter to you with great disappointment after you intentionally or unintentionally contravened sections 2 and 5 of the party constitution on conduct during campaigns,” Mr Lethobane states in his letter to Prof Mosotho.
“On 12 April on the Seboping programme on Radio Lesotho, you made utterances to the effect that the BNP is corrupt and the BNP is in intensive care unit. You said some members of national executive committee are corrupt. You also said that there are some members of the BNP who wanted to bar you from contesting the leadership elections.
“I therefore ask of you, with all humility and in the spirit of growing the party and preserving its good integrity, to within seven days respond to this letter and write an apology to the office of the secretary general and all other members of the party who could have heard your utterances.
“Wouldn’t you like to go back to the same media house and retract your utterances?,” Mr Lethobane further states.
Prof Mosotho this week told this publication that he never said that the BNP was corrupt.
“I only said there were some elements of corruption in the manner in which the party is being run. That was just political semantics when I said the party is in ICU. It’s not my fault if they can’t analyse or interpret that politically.
“The office is being run very unprofessionally and I think that the deputy leader (Machesetsa Mofomobe) has an unfair advantage over all of us hence there is even leakage of some confidential documents from the office to him which is very unprofessional,” said Prof Mosotho.
He however, would not say what the documents were and how they helped Mr Mofomobe who appears to be the frontrunner to replace Chief Maseribane. Other leadership hopefuls are Lesojane Leuta and Machere Seutloali.
Mr Nkuoatsana and Ms Motseoa have also been asked to apologise to the party’s leadership.
Mr Nkuoatsana has already angered the party’s NEC by dragging it and outgoing leader, Thesele Maseribane, to court.
He now stands accused of “falsely” alleging that the current BNP leadership is corrupt. He is also alleged to have accused Mr Mofomobe of “fondling” an unidentified woman at the party’s offices. The alleged incident is said to have occurred in 2019. However, Mr Mofomobe has never been charged over the alleged sexual abuse.
“In this (fondling) case we are going to need you to provide us with some tangible evidence that can be used to help combat this stinking’ act of crime,” Mr Lethobane states in his letter to Mr Nkuoatsana.
However, Mr Nkuatsana said he did not understand what evidence he was expected to submit “because this is a case which was reported to the police and they are better placed to give such evidence and not me.
“One would expect to have been called to the office and be reprimanded and not been served with letters like this. I am already working on a response to the letter,” Mr Nkuatsana said.
On her part, Ms Motseoa said, “I don’t remember but I won’t deny that I could have said that.
“I will ask for their (BNP’s) help to get a copy of that radio programme before I can respond,” Ms Motšepe said.