Moleleki calls for tolerance

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Pascalinah Kabi

ALLIANCE of Democrats (AD) leader, Monyane Moleleki, has called for political tolerance, saying the current politics of hate, strife and name-calling have no place in the new dispensation that the governing coalition seeks to foster in the country.

Mr Moleleki, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, made the call at the recent AD rally in Quthing and his comments come barely a month after he confessed that he was once a sworn enemy of his coalition ally, the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party which is led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Mr Moleleki left his position as deputy leader of the-then ruling Democratic Congress (DC) and formed the AD in December 2016 after falling out with the party leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, over several issues including the latter’s alleged failure to deal with corruption in the party and in government.

Mr Moleleki’s AD subsequently teamed with Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), the Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho to pass a vote of no confidence in the-then Mosisili-led seven parties’ coalition government in March 2017.

This led to the 3 June 2017 snap elections, after Dr Mosisili circumvented his ouster by dissolving Parliament, which ushered in the four party administration led by Dr Thabane.

Of late, Mr Moleleki has been quoting from the biblical scriptures and he recently likened himself to the biblical Saul (later known as the Apostle Paul) who initially haboured an intense hatred of Christians before his conversion to Christianity.

His Saturday address in Teele, Quthing was no different as he once again quoted from the biblical book of Isiah to drive home his message of political tolerance and repentance from the intra and inter-party fights that have bred instability in the country.

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”, Mr Moleleki said.

“I was once soaked in red because of my sins but if I were to come closer, you will look at Mokola today and see I am as white as the snow on the mountains. I am putting into practice the commandments of the Lord. The Lord says “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

“I have repented and I have no single political party that I hate, ridicule, name call and point fingers at. They are all my brothers and sisters now and it is for this reason that I call upon anyone following Monyane Moleleki to be like him and stop saying bad things about other parties.

“They are all our brothers and sisters and we love them. Be it the DC, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), ABC, the Basotho National Party (BNP), the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) and many others. We should stop calling them names and pointing fingers at them.” Mokola is Mr Moleleki’s nickname.

Mr Moleleki’s message of tolerance comes at a time when there are clear signs of inter and intra-party strife in the country.

Factionalism has reared its head in the AD and two months ago Mr Moleleki sought to quell this by warning the party faithful against electing any one of Mokhele Moletsane, Mahali Phamotse and Thuso Litjobo to the post of secretary general. He said while all three were suitable for the post, their election would however, cause divisions among their supporters which could weaken the party.

“All these three are my handiwork because I am the one who politically mentored them when they joined politics more than 11 years ago. I know their capabilities and flaws. I therefore, advise you not to elect one and let the other two fall. It is your choice at the end of the day but please make sure that you don’t make decisions that you will regret later,” he said.

However, his advice was disregarded by the party supporters as well as Ms Phamotse and Mr Moletsane who contested for the post which was subsequently won by Ms Phamotse.

Apart from the factionalism within the AD, there has also been inter-party tensions between the opposition and the governing coalition. This has stalled the multi-sector reforms process which should have started last year.

The reforms were recommended in the aftermath of the report by the Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi-led 10-member Commission of Inquiry that was appointed by SADC in July 2015 to investigate the killing of former army commander, Maaparankoe Mahao, by his army colleagues.

So far there has not been any discernible progress towards kick starting the reforms due to the bickering between the government and the opposition over how the process should unfold. The opposition has issued demands for a government of national unity, a blanket amnesty for its leaders and the former army commander, Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli, who stands accused of serious crimes that include murder.

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