BNP takes on Metsing

 

Chafotsa Letuka

TEYATEYANENG – Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing no longer attends cabinet meetings hence his surprise when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announces key appointments in state institutions, Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, has said.

Chief ‘Maseribane, who made the statement during a BNP rally in Teyateyaneng on Sunday, further blamed the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader for last year’s collapse of the coalition government.

The BNP, LCD led by Mr Metsing and Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) formed a coalition government in June 2012, but the alliance failed to last the anticipated five years, forcing Lesotho to go for an early election on 28 February 2015.

Chief ‘Maseribane told the rally it was unfortunate the coalition government crumbled because it was “for the benefit of every citizen of Lesotho” unlike a one-party administration.

“First of all, we need to understand why the coalition government became dysfunctional; it was because of Metsing,” said Chief ‘Maseribane.

“He came to us running away from Lija-mollo (an LCD faction before the party split, giving birth to the Democratic Congress {DC} in February 2012), and now he is running away from us and seeking refuge to the very same people he ran away from in the first place. Can such a man be taken seriously?”

“Yet, the truth of the matter is when the government was trying to eradicate corruption, Metsing decided to run to the DC for protection because he had been implicated in some acts of corruption.

“Even yesterday when SADC Facilitator to Lesotho, Cyril Ramaphosa, was here to see the progress we are making towards holding the election, Metsing was with DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili and not the other government leaders, who are myself and Prime Minister Thabane.

“Why is he not with us as government? Why is he with the opposition, especially a person such as Mosisili who failed this country for so many years when he was the prime minister? (Dr Mosisili was premier from 29 May 1998 to 8 June 2012, and relinquished power after his DC failed to garner the required 61 minimum seats in parliament in the 26 May 2012 elections).”

Chief ‘Maseribane also explained why the LCD leader appears surprised each time Dr Thabane announces a new appointment.

“He is complaining about appointments, such as Dr Kananelo Mosito being made the new Court of Appeal president, yet he is not attending cabinet meetings where such issues are discussed.”

BNP Youth League chairperson, Tšeliso Lesenya, also blamed “some thieves” for forcing the snap election on an unwilling population.

“The country was initially supposed to go for elections in 2017, but because of some thieves who had stolen public funds, and later claimed they no longer wanted to be in government because they were not being consulted when the prime minister was making certain decisions, we find ourselves in this situation,” Mr Lesenya said.

“We are here today because somebody was afraid of going to court to answer for his sins, and he thought the best way to do this is to form government with the DC. “So I am appealing to all BNP youths to ensure we go out there and vote for our party so that we remove thieves from government and ensure the country moves forward.”

The BNP Women’s League chairperson, ‘Mapulumo Hlao, also spoke about “corrupt leaders”, adding these had no place in Lesotho’s government.

“Our female members should come in great numbers on the day of the election, and make sure the BNP is in power because this is a party which puts national, not selfish interests, first,” said Ms Hlao.

“Congress parties are out-dated and don’t have any place in modern society. Let’s go and vote for the BNP since we all saw the great job our leader has been doing as Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation.”

However, in response to the BNP attacks on Mr Metsing, LCD Acting Secretary General, Tšeliso Mokhosi, said: “The problem is the BNP lacks principles and knowledge of how partners in a coalition government should conduct themselves. “This party does not understand that the three leaders (Dr Thabane, Mr Metsing and Chief ‘Maseribane) were supposed to communicate on everything in order for the government to function effectively.

“But these nationalists don’t understand good principles of governance; even in these two-and-a-half years they were in government, they could not understand governance systems, but anyway, that’s the nature of the BNP.”

Mr Mokhosi also accused the BNP leaders of not telling their supporters “the truth” about why the coalition government failed.

“They don’t tell people that things went wrong when the prime minister prorogued parliament for nine months (on 10 June 2014) on his own, and we, as the LCD, said no to this because that is not a party principle,” he said.

“We value a government that is accountable to the nation through parliament, so we could not allow the prorogation to continue, so we challenged it and won.

“The BNP is failing to tell the nation all this, and is spending time talking about the LCD leader at its rallies instead of its own manifesto, which is a shame.”

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