FORMER Home Affairs principal secretary ’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie this week said she had left the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) to form a new party called HOPE.
Ms Lemphane-Letsie’s departure follows her lengthy power struggle with RCL founder and leader, Keketso Rantšo. In March this year, Ms Lemphane-Letsie convened a “special conference” in Berea where she was “elected” RCL leader.
The conference was held despite a 20 February 2020 High Court order barring it after an application by Ms Rantšo. The order was issued by Justice Keketso Moahloli.
Ms Lemphane-Letsie nonetheless pressed on with the event and claimed she had been “elected” the party’s new leader. Ms Lemphane-Letsie was not recognised by the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and other parties in the current governing coalition which retained Ms Rantšo as cabinet minister representing the RCL.
Announcing her decision to form a new party this week, Ms Lemphane-Letsie said she would do things differently from her erstwhile RCL colleagues who were driven by personal interests.
“I want to do things differently by ensuring that there are no more fights in the party that I lead,” Ms Lemphane-Letsie said.
“We have incorporated our electoral divisions and councils as part of our committees. We also have committees representing the disabled and the business sector as these two are usually sidelined when formulating strategies.
“These structures will make us different from all other parties that have come before us.
“We have also realised that having the business sector will help us promote the country’s economy because the players are best placed to create jobs.
“Governments often fail to provide jobs that they promise the electorate during elections. It is against this background that we have also decided to set up an investment company which will enable our members do business easily…,” Ms Lemphane-Letsie said.
HOPE’s secretary general Retšelisitsoe Lesane said their party had been formed by disgruntled people fed up with “maladministration” in the RCL.
The new party’s committee comprises of Ms Lemphane-Letsie as leader and Poeea Letsielo as deputy. Mr Lesane is deputised by ’Makatiso Mokone while the treasurer is Michael Radebe. The party is chaired by Motlatsi Mphulenyane with Liteboho Bale as his deputy.
David Seutloali is the party spokesperson and he is deputized by Refiloe Mokapane. ’Mampolokeng Thelisi, Khotso Koele, Bolaoana Khanyetsi and Tiisetso Nku are committee members.
Once registered with the IEC, HOPE will become Lesotho’s 38th political party.