DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) leader, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, has warned rival factions they risked returning the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to power if they scuttled the coalition alliance with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
Addressing a DC rally in Butha-Buthe on Sunday, Dr Mosisili said he “pitied” the party’s supporters because their division was bringing the ABC closer to power.
“I pity you because the ABC is going to rule over you. And you will be running helter-skelter (from their wrath)! Let he who has ears hear!” he said.
The DC leader’s remarks come in the wake of unprecedented infighting in the ruling party, with senior officials aligned to opposing factions trading insults and threats.
Two factions have emerged in the party, with Lithope (loosely translated to girlfriends) linked to Dr Mosisili and Lirurubele (butterflies) linked to his deputy and Police Minister Moleleki.
The party’s youth wing has been at the centre of the infighting. In May this year, DC Youth League leader Thuso Litjobo threatened to “expose” Women’s League boss Dr ’Matumelo Pontšo Sekatle’s “personal secrets”, saying the Local Government minister was working with “outside forces” to destroy the party.
In July, Mr Litjobo and youth league Secretary-General Letuka Chafotsa, made sensational allegations Finance Minister Dr ’Mamphono Khaketla had attempted to solicit a M4 million bribe from a joint venture company shortlisted for a multimillion-maloti tender to provide vehicles and related services to the government.
Dr Khaketla, who is also DC treasurer, has since denied the allegations, and demanded M6 million from Messrs Litjobo and Chafotsa as compensation for the “defamatory statements”.
Dr Mosisili said party members were “pompous” in continuing with the infighting despite only managing to take back power through a seven-party coalition after the snap 28 February 2015 general elections.
The DC formed a coalition government with the LCD, Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), Basotho Congress Party (BCP), National Independent Party (NIP), Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) and Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) after the poll resulted in a hung parliament.
The DC won 47 of the 120 parliamentary seats on offer, while the LCD, PFD, BCP, LPC, MFP and NIP took 12, two, one, one, one and one seat respectively.
“My question to you is whether you won the elections now that you are so pompous? You were elected back into government through very slim margins in 2015.”
He warned the DC “not to make the same mistake” the Thomas Thabane-led coalition made of frustrating the LCD out of government. The premier said “only a fool” would never learn from the mistakes of those who walked before them.
“The weakness of Ntate Thabane and his ABC was to fight the LCD which had made it possible for them to form a coalition government. “That is what led to the collapse of his rule,” Dr Mosisili said.
“And we mocked them (ABC) for that. Yet today, we the DC are the ones showing the very same weakness. We are now despising the party (LCD) that put us in power.”
He said the DC had the LCD to thank for being in power.
“Even if the five other parties (in the coalition) could cobble their seats together, they would not be enough to form a government with us if the LCD is not part of it. Let he who has ears hear!”
Dr Mosisili further warned the DC faithful to be wary of people “secretly trying” to turn them away from the party.
“Beware of their utterances; whether they are in support of the party or against it. When people secretly coerce you with their slick talk, you should ask yourselves whether what they are saying is for or against the DC. After all, birds of the same feather flock together!” he said.