DC infighting deepens



Billy Ntaote

Disgruntled Democratic Congress (DC) members continue to defy party orders not to air their grievances through the media.

Party secretary general, Ralechate ‘Mokose, last week warned disciplinary action would be taken against those who defy this directive but this has not deterred the irate members.

One such member is the youth league’s former deputy chairperson Ramahooana Matlosa, who told the Lesotho Times that the order was “a calculated move” to protect a faction pushing for the removal of party leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, and his replacement by his deputy, Monyane Moleleki.

Mr Matlosa added the faction wants Dr Mosisili out before his term expires in 2018.

But Mr Matlosa said he was among those supporting the prime minister, adding  allegations that the DC grassroots were no longer happy with Dr Mosisili were “fictitious claims concocted by (youth league leader) Thuso Litjobo and his cohorts”.

“We have always been consistent that the group wants to unseat the leader before his term expires so that Ntate Moleleki can take over the leadership of the party. They want to be rewarded with ministerial positions once Ntate Moleleki is in power,” Mr Matlosa said this week.

“Members of this faction showed that they were not happy when the Prime Minister appointed ministers last year and they were not part of the cabinet.

“Due to frustration, they were also seen courting the opposition All Basotho Convention with a view to entering into an alliance with them, and forming government. They had earlier dismissed those claims, but when Ntate Mosisili spoke openly about it at the party’s elective in January this year, Ntate Moleleki later admitted he had indeed been approached by ABC members but refused their overtures.”

Mr Matlosa further said the faction had now targeted Women’s League President Dr Pontšo Sekatle.

“Litjobo sees Dr Sekatle as a threat to his agenda of unseating our leader and he has since launched a direct attack against her. He has also accused her of sowing divisions within the party which is unfounded and untrue,” Mr Matlosa said.

“Litjobo and youth league spokesperson Lemphane Maliehe have also falsely claimed that there are people at grassroots level who are not happy with Ntate Mosisili’s leadership when in actual fact, they were the ones dissatisfied and pushing for his ouster.”

He also questioned the motive of the gag order issued by Mr ‘Mokose, who is also the minister of water affairs.

“We did not start the campaign to go to radio stations and level accusations at the party leader, but Litjobo and his spokesperson, Maliehe did. They revealed their agenda and told us that they don’t want Ntate Mosisisli anymore.

“Now they want to stop anybody who has different views. The notice by the secretary general is calculated to stop us from countering Litjobo’s false accusations that people at the grassroots have lost their confidence in the party leader,” said Mr Matlosa.

However, he vowed there was no going back on the campaign to “protect” Dr Mosisili.

“It should be clear that it’s not true that the grassroots are not happy with Dr Mosisili’s leadership. If they want to challenge him for the party leadership, they should call a special conference as they have all the powers to do so, and openly contest against Ntate Mosisili,” Mr Matlosa said.

Asked to comment on Mr Matlosa’s allegations, Mr Litjobo said he could not talk about the matter as the secretary general had barred party members from discussing party members in the media.

Mr Litjobo however indicated the issue would be discussed at the youth league’s conference to be held in Maseru on Saturday.

On the other hand, Mr ‘Mokose told the Lesotho Times he was aware of party members who continue to defy his order and had already taken “the first steps” towards instituting disciplinary action against them.

“The letter I issued last week was the last warning. That notice was meant to inform those who are tarnishing the party’s image that they should stop insulting each other on radios and making false accusations against the party leadership,” Mr ‘Mokose said.

“They should also stop dragging our leaders’ names through the mud over these unfounded accusations or else they will face harsh disciplinary measures.

“But after issuing that notice, I have learned that some of the party members continue to defy it. I have since secured recordings of radio programmes they were making these allegations on and like I said, disciplinary measures will be taken against them.”

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