Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki, has warned party youths against factionalism and urged them to unite and shame their detractors.
Mr Moleleki made the remarks on Sunday as the DC Youth League held its end-of-year celebrations and also marked World AIDS Day through various activities at Pitso Ground in Maseru.
Reports suggest some DC members want party leader Pakalitha Mosisili (70) to retire and pave way for new blood.
However, Mr Moleleki said the DC should always remain united and support the prime minister in his leadership of the party.
“Our leader is Ntate Pakalitha who is out of the country attending a Commonwealth summit in Malta. He will be arriving in South Africa on 1 December for a China-Africa summit which ends on 6 December.
“When our leader arrives after the meeting in South Africa, we should go to the airport and welcome him back into the country in huge numbers.
“If we do that, we will show the public who our leader is and there won’t be need to squabble over who the leader of the DC is,” said Mr Moleleki.
The police minister also emphasised the need for “order and unity” when the DC elects a new leadership in January next year. All posts would be up-for-grabs save for party leader.
“We should attend this conference with good intentions,” Mr Moleleki said. “Our enemies are hoping that we are going to be divided when go to this conference. We should shame those prophets of doom who want our party to collapse. We should protect the DC as it is the biggest party in Lesotho and which has Basotho’s interests at heart.”
Mr Moleleki also said it was pleasing to see the DC continue to grow through defections from rival political parties.
The minister however, warned this growth could be threatened should there be factions in the party.
Talking about next year’s Local Government elections, Mr Moleleki said the DC should make a clean sweep to ensure the opposition does not create a parallel administration.
“We are going for very critical elections which are even more important than those for parliament.
“These are elections for councillors who bring services to our doorsteps. That government should be under the leadership of the DC, just like the central government is under the leadership of the DC.
“And it should be your responsibility to make sure you go out there and tell the people why they should vote for DC candidates in these elections.
“We need to win them so that we don’t find ourselves in a dilemma whereby the central government would be led by your leader, Dr Mosisili and the local government is in the hands of opposition parties.
“We should work flat-out to make sure councils are under the control of the DC and the DC only.
“If the local government and central government are opposed to one another, it becomes impossible to deliver services to the grassroots. If that mistake happens, we are going to be in trouble as a country. We should strengthen our party to ensure we win these local government elections otherwise we are going to be sabotaged as central government.”
Youth League President, Thuso Litjobo, also reiterated the need for unity within the DC which leads a seven-party coalition government.
“My plea to you is that your messages should be good messages that put the interests of the party ahead of everything else. Your messages should be about protecting the DC as a party.
“You’re the foot-soldiers of the DC and you will fight vicious wars on behalf of this party. However, your fighting should be against your political enemies and not among yourselves,” said Mr Litjobo.
“This should be the first and last time I reprimand you as party and youth league members over such arguments, which bring the DC into disrepute. I hope you have abandoned those ill-conceived ideas.
“Party members, let’s have mercy on this organisation. Let’s have mercy on our leader and let’s have mercy on our deputy leader because the DC has your best interests at heart. You should work for the peace of the party; you should work for the unity of the party and its growth as an organisation.”