Letter sparks discord in LCD

MASERU – The national executive of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party and youth league are at odds over a letter written by some party youths calling for the dismissal of cabinet ministers.

The letter was written to Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

The executive committee says it does not believe that the letter warrants disciplinary action but the youth league insists that the culprits should be disciplined.

The letter, purportedly written by some youth members, was handed to party secretary general Mothejoa Metsing (pictured) by the youth league president Mosala Mojakisane.

It called on Mosisili to fire ministers who the youth accused of failing to implement government and party policies.

“There is a public outcry over poor service delivery and claims that LCD has failed the Basotho nation despite our party having clear policies,” said the letter.

“Our fear is that this will lead to us failing to garner majority votes in both the upcoming 2010 Local Government Elections as well as the 2012 general elections.”

The youth wanted Mosisili to sack the Minister of Agriculture Lesole Mokoma and his assistant Rammotsi Lehata.

They said health minister, Mphu Ramatlapeng, should also go alleging that lack of progress in her ministry forced “people to lose hope in LCD.” Deputy prime minister Lesao Lehohla, sports minister ’Mathabiso Lepono and local government minister, Ponts’o Sekatle were also named as candidates for sacking.

The youth also wanted natural resources minister Monyane Moleleki to be kicked out of cabinet for allegedly having “tremendous ownership, control and influence on some youth, MPs and members of our party.” The youth also said they wanted foreign affairs minister Mohlabi Tsekoa out because they are “shocked to see Lesotho being represented internationally by people who are not members of LCD.”

But the national executive committee says the youth’s letter does not pose any threat to party unity and therefore there is no need for disciplinary action against the culprits.

Metsing told the Lesotho Times that there was no need to trace who wrote the letter because the youth league had already distanced itself from the issue.

“Since the youth league has distanced itself from the                    

 letter, we as the national executive committee do not have any reason to want to know who wrote that letter,” Metsing said.

“There is no way contents of that letter can split the party,” he said.

“We are a united party.”

Metsing said the letter was handed to him by Mojakisane who took it from the youths who had gathered at the LCD offices wanting to meet the NEC.

However Mojakisane says investigations into the matter are continuing and the culprits will face justice.

“They will be brought to book. Their time is approaching,” Mojakisane said.

“According to the procedure, their case will be handled by their respective constituency committees until it reaches the executive committee.”

That pretty much means that the witch-hunt is still going on.

Observers say the letter is a sign of the trouble simmering in the ruling party especially over the succession issue.

Sofonea Shale the director of Development for Peace Education in Lesotho, a civil organisation, says the LCD leadership should know that the letter is part of the broader issue of succession troubling the party.

Shale said the succession issue is surfacing again because it has not been handled properly.

“LCD itself is a product of mismanagement of succession issues in the Basutoland Congress Party” Shale said.

“The formation of All Basotho Convention can also be traced back to the succession debate within LCD”.

“What could be helpful will be for LCD to debate succession openly within the structures.”

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