Minister accused of insulting Mosisili

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Billy Ntaote

The Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) wants party leader Molahlehi Letlotlo fired as Social Development minister.

Mr  Letlotlo stands accused of not respecting the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC)’s decisions since his ministerial appointment in March this year, criticising Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili for “overstaying” in office, employing youths from the main opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) in his ministry instead of LPC members, and insulting the LPC’s founding leader, Advocate Kelebone Maope, among others.

The NEC has since written to Dr Mosisili asking the premier to relieve Mr Letlotlo of his post as his appointment was due to his leadership of the LPC, which gave him the party’s single Proportional Representation (PR) seat in the 120-seat National Assembly after the 28 February 2015 snap elections.

It was that single seat which made the LPC part of the new government alongside the Democratic Congress, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Popular Front for Democracy, Marematlou Freedom Party, National Independent Party, and Basotho Congress Party.

According to a letter written to Dr Mosisili dated 14 October and signed by the party’s deputy secretary general Maphoma Sejanamane, the minister no longer had the confidence of the LPC.

Mr Sejanamane also reminds the premier that the government is a coalition of political parties and not their leaders, hence the request to have Mr Letlotlo sacked because the LPC NEC had lost confidence in his leadership.

The LPC executive members have also written to Mr Letlotlo pointing out his alleged crimes, which they say prompted their decision to have him removed as Social Development minister.

The letter, also dated 14 October, and again signed by Mr Sejanamane, reads in part: “You renewed the contracts of your office drivers who are known youths of the All Basotho Convention contrary to the NEC’s decision to hire youths from within the LPC.

“You also misinformed government that the LPC had not made a decision on who should be the principal secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Social Development, yet the party had already said either Mr Sejanamane or Mrs Makhuluoane Makharilele should occupy the post.”

Mr Sejanamane notes because of this “misrepresentation”, the ministry still did not have a  PS, prejudicing the LPC as a party.

Mr Letlotlo’s other alleged transgressions include his decision to “illegally suspend party spokesperson Bokang Ramatšella and wrongfully replace him with ‘Makopano Sekhobo, contrary to the NEC decision”.

Mr Sejanamane’s letter to Mr Letlotlo further reads: “You were recently warned by the NEC to desist from badmouthing our coalition government partners but you have continued with statements that accuse the Lesotho Congress for Democracy of taking advantage of our supporters in Tšoana-Makhulo and Qoaling constituencies.

“You also made innuendos at Prime Minister Mosisili, indirectly accusing him of overstaying in office when he should be making way for new blood.

“You have also been labelling our party’s founder, Advocate Maope and spokesperson Ramatšella, rebels and calling them sell-outs. You accuse them of selling the LPC to the LCD.”

These actions, the party feels, have brought the LPC’s image into disrepute hence the decision to have Mr Letlotlo  removed from government.

Mr Letlotlo has also been accused of dividing the LPC by unilaterally suspending its members.

The last straw, Mr Sejanamane writes, was when Mr Letlotlo “seized the party’s offices and changed the door-locks” so that no one else could occupy them, and suspended secretary general Moipone Piti.

“You wrote a letter to the secretary general informing her that the NEC had endorsed a letter of her suspension when it was not true at all. It is for these reasons that we have written to the prime minister demanding that you be expelled from office as a minister,” noted Mr Sejanamane in his letter.

The LPC is however, not suggesting a replacement for Mr Letlotlo or saying anything about his fate as the leader of the party.

Party sources told the Lesotho Times the most critical part is getting Mr Letlotlo fired from cabinet and then mobilise the LPC’s general membership to pass a vote-of-no-confidence in his leadership.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr Sejanamane said he could say anything about the letters as the matter was “an internal issue”.

On the other hand, Ms Piti confirmed the LPC had written to Dr Mosisili but was reluctant to say more.

“We have negotiations that are on-going regarding our leader’s conduct. We can only confirm that we wrote to the prime minister but at the moment, I cannot reveal what the letter was about.

“All I can say is we are making the prime minister and our leader aware that the LPC entered into the coalition government agreement as a party and not an individual. We are simply saying that individual should be representing the LPC and having the blessing of the party,” said Ms Piti.

On his part, Mr Letlotlo said it was “premature” to respond to any questions pertaining to the two letters.

However, the minister said he enjoyed the full support of the LPC.

“As matters stand, I believe I still have the confidence of the LPC for me to continue  working as a minister in the coalition government,” Mr Letlotlo said.

“I have called an executive committee meeting tomorrow to address the issues in question.

“But I maintain that I take my authority from the LPC’s National Executive Committee, and if there is any problem, it will be discussed in tomorrow’s meeting.”

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