Maseru — The main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) Secretary General Ralechate ’Mokose says the Basotho National Party (BNP) Thesele ’Maseribane’s threat to fire councilors in Quthing is indicative of “nationalists showing their old dictatorial tendencies”.
’Mokose refuted allegations made by ’Maseribane during a BNP rally at Ha Mafura in the Sebapala constituency last Sunday saying DC-affiliated councilors in the Quthing district sabotaging government projects.
’Mokose, speaking to the Lesotho Times on Tuesday, said it is the coalition government that is sabotaging itself by “failing to budget for community council’s development projects”.
“The BNP leader’s claims were unfounded as DC councilors do not have powers to hold back any development projects by refusing to sign documents.
“There is nowhere a community councilor’s signature would bring to a standstill any project,” ’Mokose said.
He said ’Maseribane’s threats to suspend councilors is not surprising because the BNP is “still upholds its ideologies of denying people in the grassroots a chance to take part in their own developments by abolishing local government councils”.
“After the 1965 elections the BNP government found congress party already controlling community councils and it abolished those councils just because they realised they were not supporting their party,” ’Mokose said.
“Preventing the people from participating in governance is an attitude of the nationalists.”
“You should go find out how much was budgeted for community councilors to develop their councils you will realise they were given inadequate funds,” he alleged.
According to annex V of the national budget 2013/2014 financial year, the Ministry of Local Jovernment and Chieftainship Affairs’ has a recurrent budget of M363.7 million and a capital budget M392.3 million.
’Mokose insisted that the law does not require community councilors “to sign anything for developments to continue” but that district councils would choose priority projects to fund from a list of needs each community council presented to the district council.
He said ’Maseribane should learn how things are run in terms of the Local Government Act.
Responding to accusations that his party is opposed to Basotho unity, ’Mokose retorted saying Basotho have always been torn between the congress and the national ideology “which are both left wing and right wing”.
“It is a clear fact that we in the Congress are pro-poor while the nationalists who are conservative are pro elite hence my leader Dr Pakalitha Mosisili has been saying the nationalists and congress are like water and oil: they can never mix,” ’Mokose said.