THE battle for the control of the Democratic Congress (DC) has scaled new heights with the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) serving notice on leader and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili to attend a hearing this afternoon to show cause why he should not be suspended for alleged misconduct.
The party is split into the Lithope (loosely translated to mean girlfriends) and the Lirurubele (butterflies) factions with the former throwing its full weight behind Dr Mosisili while the latter has crystallised around deputy leader Monyane Moleleki.
Last week, the DC’s NEC resolved to withdraw from government and proceeded to instruct its members including Dr Mosisili to resign from the seven-party coalition government which they accused of corruption, nepotism and deteriorating relations with development partners among other reasons.
In line with the NEC request, Mr Moleleki, DC Secretary-General Ralechate ’Mokose, former Law Minister Mokhele Moletsane and former Local Government Deputy Minister Kotiti Liholo moved to the crossbench to signify their withdrawal from the government.
In his response, Dr Mosisili upped the ante of the feud by calling for a special conference scheduled for 2-4 December 2016 to effect “harsh, disciplinary measures” on the NEC members.
But in another dramatic turn of events, the NEC yesterday wrote a scathing letter summoning Dr Mosisili before an “urgent sitting” of the committee so he can show cause why should not be suspended from the party pending his appearance before a disciplinary committee.
According to the letter, which was signed by Mr ’Mokose, Dr Mosisili committed a series of offences through statements that “undermine and violate” the party constitution and its structures.
The letter reads: “This is to inform you about an urgent sitting of the DC NEC scheduled for Avani Lesotho at 14:00 hours on 17 November 2016. The objective of the meeting is to discuss issues that appear on the attached programme.”
The said programme shows two items on the agenda, namely the “behaviour of the leader as a member appointed to take responsibility to lead the DC in accordance with terms provided by the party in line with the DC Constitution, which seems to comprise principles of democracy; and the legal measures that could be reached by the NEC in line with the DC Constitution to protect the party.”
The programme, Mr ’Mokose notes, was organised by himself “as the secretary-general in terms of provisions of the DC Constitution”.
“The programme is also organised through guidance of the deputy leader of the DC (Mr Moleleki) because issues to be discussed concern you (Dr Mosisili) personally.”
The missive states that it had come to the NEC’s attention that Dr Mosisili had and “still continues to do things and make statements in violation of constitution of the Democratic Congress, and against the party NEC and its structures”.
“The NEC intends putting you before the Disciplinary Committee in terms of the DC Constitution concerning, among others, the following acts of misconduct on your part:
- That you don’t handle some matters in consultation with some relevant structures in the party in line with section 5.3.1 of the party constitution. For instance; your unilateral decision to organise and take part in a march meant to show support to the Prime Minister on 18 September 2016 without consulting with some of the party structures.
- That you passed notice about the party’s special conference in terms of sections 3.2.1 (c) and 5.3.1 (f) of the party constitution without consultation with the party secretary-general. The notice purports the special conference is meant to instigate some disciplinary action against some of the NEC members without following relevant procedures provided by the party constitution in terms of section 5.3.1 (h).
- That you undermined and defied a decision by the NEC on 10 November 2016, which directed withdrawal of the DC from the coalition government of Lesotho in terms of section 9(a) and (b) of the party constitution.
- That you operate in direct violation of the DC Constitution, principles and objectives of the DC. For instance, activities and statements you make which seem to be against fundamentals and policies of the DC.
“You are, therefore, given this opportunity to show cause, if any, why the NEC cannot proceed to suspend you. You are expected to appear before the NEC to provide your reasons during the urgent setting mentioned above,” the letter states, adding that in the event that he was unable to attend, Dr Mosisili should provide reasons in writing why he should not be suspended.
Mr ’Mokose yesterday refused to comment on the letter, saying: “I can only confirm that there is going to be an urgent sitting of the NEC in the afternoon tomorrow. We shall call a press conference following the meeting to explain what was discussed in the meeting.”
Repeated efforts to obtain comment from the DC spokesperson and Communications Ministers Serialong Qoo proved fruitless as he said he was in a meeting.