THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has been hit by serious infighting between camps led by Secretary-General Selibe Mochoboroane and deputy leader Tšeliso Mokhosi over control of the party.
According to sources privy to the matter, the LCD was divided into two factions, with Ma-Egepeta (Egyptians) aligned to party leader Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Ma-Israele (Israelites) supporting Mr Mochoboroane.
The sources, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, said Mr Metsing had been given the moniker “Pharaoh” by his detractors in the party, while Mr Mochoboroane was called Moses whom they said would take the LCD to a figurative “promised land” in reference to the Biblical characters.
Mr Mokhosi, whom the sources said supported Mr Metsing, had clashed with Mr Mochoboroane who was regarded as the blue eyed boy of the party.
“The bone of contention here is the fact that Ntate Mochoboroane is seemingly successful in whatever ministerial portfolio he is given,” said the sources.
“Because he is a hard worker, there is now talk among his detractors that he is trying to contrast himself with the leader of the party and score some political points.”
Mr Mochoboroane’s recent “demotion” from the Energy ministry to the Small Business Development portfolio, the sources said, was part of the LCD turf war that had spilt into government.
The charismatic politician has been out of sync with the LCD’s hierarchy after denouncing his party’s participation in a contentious 18 September 2016 march to support the coalition government. Mr Mochoboroane argued that the march fuelled the infighting in the LCD’s governing coalition partner, Democratic Congress (DC), which has since split into two parties.
The DC faction led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has retained control of the party while the party’s former deputy leader Monyane Moleleki last week formed a party called Alliance of Democrats (AD).
LCD spokesperson Teboho Sekata yesterday acknowledged the discord in his party, but said it was “nothing serious”.
“There are some problems within the LCD, but ultimately nothing to write home about. I can confirm that there is tension between Ntate Mokhosi and Ntate Mochoboroane and the matter has been referred to the party’s elders committee,” said Mr Sekata.
“I know there are factions with those names within the LCD, but I have learnt about them from people who are now with Ntate Moleleki. I never thought it was anything serious.
“There are no serious divisions within the LCD, and in due course it shall all be clear as to who is fooling who.”
Contacted for comment, Mr Mokhosi dismissed the claims of infighting saying they “defied logic”.
“There is nothing like that. It’s just that people don’t like peace and it simply requires us to stand against all these allegations. It simply defies logic how can we fight someone when he is working hard because that is exactly what we want? It actually makes us proud when someone does that,” he said.
Also commenting on the issue, the chairperson of the LCD’s elders committee, Lesao Lehohla, said he had heard about the infighting, but nothing had come to the committee formally.
“I have just heard that there was bad blood between the duo, but up until now, nothing has been tabled before us. I only learnt about Ma-Egepeta and Ma-Israele when someone from the party actually called to ask me which faction I belonged to,” said Mr Lehohla.
“I stand by the truth that all these fights and factionalism are not going to bring us any development and peace. We don’t need this.”
Efforts to contact Mr Mochoboroane were fruitless at the time of going to print.