DESPITE a ban on political rallies and huge gatherings as part of measures to fight the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, low level rallies are underway as politicians from different parties seek to win over the electorate in the forthcoming 2022 elections.
Apart from former First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane who has traversed the length and breadth of her Mokhotlong home district, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy leader and former Defence and National Security Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi has also hit the ground running.
During the 2015 and 2017 elections, Mr Mokhosi unsuccessfully contested the Khubetsoana, Berea parliamentary seat. The All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s Likopo Mahase is the current member of parliament for Khubetsoana.
But in his quest to land a constituency seat in the 2022 polls, the proportional representation legislator has retraced his steps back to his Tsikoane constituency in the Leribe district. ABC former secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, is currently the legislator for Tsikoane.
Over the weekend, he addressed party supporters in the constituency, saying he had decided to “come home” and represent them in the next elections. The rally was attended by LCD leader, Mothetjoa Metsing and other senior party officials.
Mr Mokhosi said over the next four months, he hoped to put up a sterling campaign to win the constituency.
He accused the ABC-led governing coalition of reneging on its promises to uplift the lives of the people. He said the government had instead focused its energies on persecuting Mr Metsing.
Although he did not elaborate, his allegations were probably in reference to the treason charges which Mr Metsing is facing alongside Development Planning Minister and Movement for Economic Change (MEC) leader, Selibe Mochoboroane, former army commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli and three other soldiers. (See story above).
Addressing the party supporters, Mr Mokhosi described Mr Metsing as “a very brave person who always aired his views and fought for the oppressed”.
“I wasn’t even sure if my leader would be here today as he is always being chased by those who should be seized with governing this country. Instead of doing that, they are after him day and night. There is nothing as painful as living in fear in your own country as each day is unpredictable. One is always unsure what each day holds for them but I say to Ntate Metsing, just be still and remember that God is there and shall come to your rescue. This is the same God who saved David from Goliath. He also saved Joseph from his brothers who had sold him.
“For the longest time these people have been lying and they have hurt us over the years. But the time has come for Basotho to turn their backs on anyone who lies to them.”
Mr Mokhosi said he would work hard to win the Tsikoane constituency.
“Our greatest task is to make sure that we don’t disappoint our leader who is always being persecuted for fighting for oppressed Basotho. Ntate Metsing stood up to the former prime minister (Thomas Thabane) when he incited police to torture suspects and today close to a 100 people have died at the hands of the police.
“He also stood with the teachers when they went on strike over their low salaries and other grievances. Oppressors don’t like a smart person, they don’t want a person who fights for the oppressed and they don’t like a brave person who stands for the truth. Ntate Metsing would be long dead but his God has always been with him,” Mr Mokhosi said.
In a subsequent interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Mr Mokhosi said he was ready to contest in the Tsikoane constituency but he would wait for the party to give him the nod.
But his candidature is as good as confirmed about Mr Metsing sang his praises and hailed him for refusing to incriminate him despite being allegedly tortured by police.
“God has His own way of doing things and he gives us friends to help us in certain situations. Ntate Mokhosi put up with the torture he was subjected to by the police. They wanted him to sell me out but he refused to do so.
“For this I thank Ntate Mokhosi. Some of you also stood with me even when I was being accused of being a murderer and a thief. This has been a great blessing to me and I hope to be a blessing to you one day,” said Mr Metsing.