THE opposition Democratic Congress (DC) this week released its final list of candidates to contest for various positions at the party’s elective conference which gets underway tomorrow and ends on Sunday in Ha Foso, Berea.
All party positions are up for grabs and only spokesperson Serialong Qoo is standing unopposed for the same post.
The party’s deputy leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu, will fight it out with the deputy secretary general Tlohang Sekhamane in the contest for the party leader’s post. Whoever wins will succeed founding leader and former prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili who will be stepping down at the conference.
Motlalentoa Letsosa of the Qalabane # 54 constituency faces Tau Toka for the deputy leader’s post.
Messrs Tšitso Cheba (’Makhoroana #20 constituency), Mootsi Lehata (Makhaleng #46) and Molise Tšeole (Berea #27) are in the running for the secretary general’s post after Semano Sekatle defected to the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) last month. Mr Sekatle was immediately rewarded by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who appointed him minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture.
The contest for the deputy secretary general’s post pits Molise Mofolo of Kolonyama #18 against Maile Masoebe of Thaba-Phatšoa #08.
Hlalele Letšaba Mafeteng #55 and Tsietsi Lebakae of Mabote# 29 have thrown their hats into the ring for the post of treasurer.
Mr Letšaba is a businessman, while Mr Lebakae served as the rector and chief accounting officer at the Lerotholi Polytechnic before he was indefinitely suspended in connection with the institution’s failure to pay taxes amounting to M13 million for the financial years 2011 to 2014. Mr Lebakae subsequently left the Lerotholi Polytechnic and was appointed principal secretary for Health.
Messrs Mosala Mojakisane (Thaba-Bosiu #38) and Maimane Maphathe (Matelile #50) will fight it out for the chairperson’s post while Ms Lethusang Kompi (Qaqatu #60), Mr Tšepo Mohapi and Mr Kokolia Ramabele of Berea #27 constituency will contest the deputy chairperson’s post.
Spokesperson Serialong Qoo of Malingoaneng #77 is standing unopposed while Messrs Ramosa Ramaisa of Hlotse #13, Mr Lefu Lefu of Likhoele #53 and Mr Temba Molikoe of Berea #27 will face-off in the contest for the deputy spokesperson’s post.
Tebalo Mpiti of Tsoelike #71, Lehlohonolo Maqelepo (Berea #27), ’Mamookho Phiri (Khafung #23), ’Mapuleng Mosooane (Berea #27), Palo Leteetee (Qhlasi #57) and Tšepang Monongoaha of Mohale’s Hoek #58 will stand for committee member positions.
Several DC officials have also been nominated to fill the party’s 30 percent quota for female representation in the national executive committee. These are ’Masuthang Taole (Mantšonyane #72), ’Macharles Motseko (Matsieng #46), ’Mamolatoli Tjopi (Mechachane #1), Lineo Lesoli, ’Malerato Senauoane (Qacha’s Nek #69), Jeanett Khanyapa (Likhetlane #16), ’Maleloko Moremoholo (Bela-Bela #21) and ’Mammotseng Moesa of Berea #27.
Dr Mosisili assumed the leadership of the DC which was formed in 2012 in the aftermath of a split in the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
The DC’s elective conference is being held against the background of serious divisions that exploded after the December 2016 departure of former deputy leader, Monyane Moleleki, and many other party members to form the Alliance of Democrats (AD).
Some senior party officials opposed the elevation of Mr Mokhothu to the post of deputy leader, saying that Dr Mosisili had displayed bias in handpicking the former ahead of more seasoned politicians.
The DC has split into two main camps. One faction, known as Melele, is said to favour Mr Sekhamane and the other faction, the Liphakoe, is backing Mr Mokhothu in his quest to succeed Dr Mosisili.
Ahead of his departure, Dr Mosisili recently bemoaned the “shocking levels” of infighting in his party amid accusations that he favoured some members at the expense of others. This, he said, had compelled him to announce his decision to quit in writing instead of communicating it orally.
“No matter how good a dancer you may be, there must be a time to come down from the stage and such a time has come for me to step aside.
“I take opportunity to humbly notify you that I shall not be contesting for the party’s leadership in the up-coming elective conference and therefore this means that as you ready yourself (for the conference), know that the leadership vacancy is also up for grabs and you should all be ready to elect a new leader,” Dr Mosisili wrote.