PROMINENT businessman Mpho Malie has ended his long association with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and joined Selibe Mochoboroane’s fledgling Movement for Economic Change (MEC).
The former Trade minister this week confirmed the development to the Lesotho Times, although he would not elaborate on his reasons for jumping ship.
“I can confirm my allegiance to the new MEC without saying much on why I am leaving the LCD. There are a lot of issues we can discuss but not today. I can only tell you that I am a member of the MEC,” Mr Malie said.
The former LCD stalwart was a member of the party’s Elders Committee and was believed to be the main benefactor of the LCD with immense influence on its leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.
Mr Mochoboroane, who was the LCD’s secretary-general, announced his exit from the party last week and admitted to the open secret of his leadership of the MEC.
The Thabana-Morena constituency legislator is deputized by Mohale’s Hoek District Administrator (DA) ’Mantšiuoa Mosothoane who is formerly a member of the All Basotho Convention.
Other members of the MEC’s interim National Executive Committee include former Qacha’s Nek DA Mosiuoa Nthakong, who is party chairperson, and Makhetha Thaele (treasurer) who unsuccessfully contested as an LCD member of parliament candidate in the Qoaling constituency during the 2015 general elections. Mr Thaele is also a board member of the Lesotho National Development Corporation.
The latest split in the governing coalition’s second largest party has rattled the seven-party alliance ahead of a mooted no-confidence motion by the opposition when parliament reconvenes on 24 February 2017.
It has also left the LCD with one elected parliamentary seat held by Mr Metsing, with the other 10 being proportional representation seats.
However, LCD spokesperson Teboho Sekata dismissed Mr Malie’s departure as “good riddance”, saying the prominent businessman “sowed seeds of confusion” within the congress movement.
“Personally, I am quite happy that the old man is finally leaving us. He has been one of the people who brought trouble into the congress movement,” charged Mr Sekata.
“It’s good riddance. We thank God that he is finally leaving us. I can guarantee you that after Ntate Malie’s departure from the LCD, you are going to see good things come our way in the entire congress movement. He is one person who sowed seeds of confusion within the congress movement.”
Commenting on Mr Sekata’s claims, Mr Malie said: “I am not ready to respond to petty politics from a disgruntled man. Obviously he is angry because we are leaving the LCD. Our politics today need sober and serious people who address genuine challenges facing this country – not petty issues.”