By Motsamai Mokotjo
MASERU — The Democratic Congress (DC) on Sunday held a “thanksgiving” ceremony in
Katlehong to celebrate the party’s victory in the weekend national and local government by-elections.
The DC won both the Thaba-Phechela and Thaba-Moea parliamentary polls and 14 out of the 27 local government electoral divisions.
Supporters held onto every word uttered by their leader, former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, whose speech was peppered with victory slogans such as “shapa DC, shapa!” and “hayi poto!” implying the DC had convincingly beaten the competition.
The wordsmith, as the former premier is known, announced that he received a phonecall from Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), Mothetjoa Metsing, conceding defeat, sending the frenzied crowd into overdrive.
Metsing’s LCD is a partner with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention
(ABC) and senior minister Thesele ‘Maseribane’s Basotho National Party (BNP), in a coalition government.
The coalition government was established after the May 2012 poll produced a hung parliament
thus leading to the three parties cobbling up their numbers to come with the 61 seats required by the Constitution to form a government, effectively ending Mosisili’s tenure as Lesotho’s premier.
Speaking on what he said was the incompetence of the coalition government, the former premier referred to the recent abolition of the Distance Teaching Education Programme (DTEP) by the education ministry, on the basis that there were no funds to sustain it as one example of bungling, to cheers and ululation by DC supporters clad in their red party gear.
The DTEP was an initiative of the Irish Aid and the Ministry of Education to train teachers in a bid to capacitate schools after the introduction of Free Primary Education Mosisili taunts government after DC victory in 2000.
Mosisili also criticised the coalition government for attempting to disown the government gazette published by the Ministry of Home Affairs in September 2013, increasing the price of the local passport from M100 to M400.
The gazette also states that applicants will be required to pay an extra M150 if they require an emergency passport and M800 to replace a lost passport.
According to the Tsoelike MP, the coalition administration was liable for the aforesaid and many other “failures”, a statement to which the crowd cheered and jeered wildly.
“In the fourteen years I was in government, I worked with Thomas Motsoahae Thabane for eight of those,” Mosisili said adding, that it was just a matter of time before the leopard revealed its true spots.
He concluded by declaring now that Thabane, after 18 months as prime minister, qualified for ‘The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (Retirement and Spouses’) Bill 2010’, to receive generous perks, his true intentions or rather failures have been revealed.
With the crowd in stitches, Mosisili thundered: “Ho bona Lekhoakhoa”, which when loosely translated means “Go on Thabane, hound your supporters”, implying government supporters had brought the “misfortune” upon themselves.