Pascalinah Kabi and ’Mafaraele Mohloboli
THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has been accused of orchestrating a plan to destabilise and swallow the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), one of the smaller parties in the seven party coalition government.
LPC youth league leader Telang Mpole launched a blistering attack on the LCD this week and urged the party of Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing to desist from meddling in the LPC’s internal affairs.
The LPC is riven by leadership battles and the party has split into two distinct factions with one claiming Social Development Minister Molahlehi Letlotlo was no longer leader of the party. The leadership battles in the LPC spilled into the courts with the case set to be heard on 5 September 2015 in the High Court.
Mr Mpole said it was increasingly becoming evident the LCD was orchestrating a plan to swallow his party. He accused the LCD’s official spokesmen of going to radio stations to make unfounded statements against the LCP.
“On June 13, Mr Teboho Sekata and Mr Apesi Ratšele respectively spokesperson and deputy spokesperson of the LCD, were invited to one of the local radio stations,” he said.
“While there, they started making statements which amounted to meddling in the internal issues of the LPC.”
He said this “misconduct” by the LCD spokesmen had prompted the LPC executive committee to write to the LCD executive committee asking them to explain the statements made by their official spokesmen against the LPC.
He said the letter was copied to all the seven parties forming the coalition government.
Mr Mpole said the fact the LCD had not bothered to respond to the letter proved its contempt for the LPC, adding the party of Mr Metsing was hell bent on reducing the LPC to ashes so it could rebuild its support base from the membership of the LPC.
“We are fully aware the LCD is working hard to swallow the LPC into its structures and we will not allow that. The LCD spokesperson and deputy spokesperson had no business in making the statements they made on radio and reading what they claimed to be a court judgement that Ntate Molahlehi Letlotlo was no longer the LPC leader,” he said.
“We are in a coalition government with the LCD but we are not jointly owning and running LPC with LCD. They must stop meddling in our internal affairs.”
Mr Mpole added: “There have been suggestions that even if we were to pull out of the coalition government, LPC’s one parliamentary seat wouldn’t make much of a difference because the government would still have 64 seats. Such attitudes are never helpful in enhancing any coalition process.”
LPC deputy youth league leader Tšeliso Motanyane accused the LCD executive committee of unleashing Messrs Sekata and Ratšele as attack dogs in efforts to destroy the LPC.
“The fact that the LCD executive committee have not bothered to respond to our executive committee’s own letter and the fact that they (the LCD) have not attempted to distance themselves from statements made by their spokespersons against the LPC is proof that the entire LCD matrix is working towards destroying the LPC. They want to swallow us into their party…….,” Mr Motanyane said.
Mr Sekata, on the other hand, denied all allegations levelled against him by LPC cadres telling the Lesotho Times “they are just bad mouthing me. I never read any judgment like they are claiming….. I only dealt with points of law in the LPC judgement that’s still reserved for September, and I only did that to clarify what they had said about me meddling in their issues.”
“I am not meddling in their issues at all and shall not as I have no interest in that. They just want to pick a fight…This only confirms that they are cracking as a party…..Gathering the pieces won’t be easy for them.”
The feud between the LPC and the LCD is largely seen as inconsequential because the LPC hasn’t got much sway due to its very limited presence in Parliament. It nevertheless may begin to sow seeds of future disunity in the coalition now in its second year of existence.