Factionalism splits LCD youth league

MASERU — The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth league will hold a conference to elect new leaders next month amid serious factional fights linked to the party’s succession battle.

The LCD youth league will hold the elective conference on August 27 in Maseru to replace the interim committee which was elected in May last year.

Sources within the party said the battle for the youth league leadership could tilt the scales in the wider battle to succeed Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Although Mosisili has not indicated any intention to step down from the helm of the party, sources said there was a fierce battle within the party’s structures to edge him out.

Sources said youth league president, Mosala Mojakisane, and secretary-general Selibe Mochoboroane belonged to different factions that are wrestling to succeed Mosisili.

The two senior LCD officials who are believed to be godfathers of the camps have however publicly denied that they were leading factions within the party.

In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Mochoboroane admitted that the league had been split by factional politics.

“There is no denying the fact that there are factions within the LCD. I cannot deny the fact that he (Mojakisane) and I support opposing factions,” Mochoboroane said.

“It would be unrealistic for anybody to feign ignorance to their existence because they are there.”

Mochoboroane however refused to divulge who was leading his faction.

“We do have differences from time to time like all colleagues. But we try hard to deliver on the job we have been mandated to do,” Mochoboroane said.

He denied there was any power struggle between himself and Mojakisane regarding the running of the youth committee.

He however said if he was elected at the conference he would gladly accept leading the league.

“It would be an honour if I were to be elected LCD youth leader. If the constituencies decide, I will definitely accept it and do the best I can.”

Mojakisane on the other hand flatly denied the existence of factions within the LCD.

“As far as I know, there are no factions within the LCD. We are all working towards the common goal of taking the LCD to new heights,” Mojakisane said.

“I do not belong to any faction nor do I take orders from anyone. We are all free to make our own choices without being influenced by anyone.”

Mochoboroane, who is 33, also rejected charges that he was above the stipulated age for membership of the youth league which has been set at 35 years.

“I was born on 27 July 1977. I definitely am still within the age limit required for one to be a member of the youth league committee,” he said.

The LCD youth league committee was disbanded in October 2008 for alleged insubordination and its duties were taken over by the LCD national executive.

Interim elections for the youth league were held in May 2009 that saw Mojakisane being elected president with Ntsekiseng Mona as his deputy.

The president of the disbanded youth league committee, Rethabile Marumo, is also expected to contest for the youth league presidency.

Marumo enjoys a huge following with the grassroots in the party’s youth wing.

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