Mosisili warns rival DC factions    

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Democratic Congress (DC) Leader, Pakalitha Mosisili  (2)Lekhetho Ntsukunyane

DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) leader, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has warned rival factions they risked destroying the party from within and scuttling the alliance with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) by continuing with their feuds.

In a long-worded statement addressed to all DC structures, Dr Mosisili also quashed rumours he intended to defect to the LCD to give the premiership to the party’s leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, saying the position belonged to the DC as agreed in the governing parties’ Coalition Agreement.

The DC leader’s remarks come in the wake of unprecedented infighting in the party, with senior officials aligned to opposing factions trading insults on various media platforms.

In May this year, DC Youth League leader Thuso Litjobo threatened to “expose” Women’s League president Dr ’Matumelo Pontšo Sekatle’s “personal secrets” whom he accused of working with “outside forces” to destroy the party.

He also accused Dr Sekatle of despising the party’s deputy leader and Police Minister Monyane Moleleki, saying it was “the root cause” of the internecine strife in the DC. Mr Litjobo has since been relieved of his duties as Mr Moleleki’s personal aide ostensibly because of the attack on Dr Sekatle.

So intense has been the internecine strife in the DC that two factions have emerged, with Lithope (loosely translated to girlfriends) linked to Dr Mosisili and Lirurubele (butterflies) linked to Mr Moleleki.

 

However, according to Dr Mosisili, the infighting was only serving the purpose of destabilising the party.

“There are serious issues affecting the party and you have always wondered why I am silent about them. I was waiting for the right time,” he said.

“This letter emanates from a meeting of five executive committees of the party, namely the National Executive Committee, Women’s League Executive Committee, Youth League Executive Committee and two provincial committees (from South Africa) which are Free State Provincial Committee and Gauteng Provincial Committee.

“The five committees held a highly-charged meeting at Lehakoe Recreational Centre in Maseru on 25 June 2016. The meeting took 14 hours – from 7.30pm to 9.30am the next day.”

Dr Mosisili said the agenda of the meeting was to discuss the challenges facing the party and to come up with solutions. He said concerns were raised about the mudslinging between party officials.

“I am very much worried and disappointed to hear how you have been attacking each other on radio stations and party meetings. Our opponents are very happy to see us fighting and they are laughing at us,” the premier said.

“Our enemies say that is how the Congress people operate. They are intoxicated with power. Every time they are elected into power, they end up fighting amongst themselves and calling each other names.

“From way back, some were called Maporesha and Ma-jela-thoko while others were called Li-ja-mollo and Li-tima-mollo. Now some are called Lithope while others are Lirurubele!”

He said party members had the temerity to fight among themselves after barely managing to take back power following the snap 28 February 2015 general elections.

The DC formed a coalition government with the LCD, Marematlou Freedom Party, Basotho Congress Party, National Independent Party, Lesotho People’s Congress and Popular Front for Democracy after the poll resulted in a hung parliament.

“Even after you were elected back into government through very slim margins in 2015, you are still fighting among yourselves? An old Basotho adage says a burnt child dreads fire. Unfortunately with you it seems the bad governance of Matoala (All Basotho Convention) did not teach you any lessons,” the DC leader said.

“Every time you give each other these embarrassing names, the party’s future is in disarray. I hear there is a flag for an apparent new splinter party on the internet. I am appealing to you to refrain from this.”

Dr Mosisili said claims he was at loggerheads with Mr Moleleki were misplaced because they worked together harmoniously.

“I want to warn party members against lies that some of you have continued to tell the world that I hate the DC deputy leader (Mr Moleleki). These people claim that it is because of that hatred that I am refusing to let him take over,” he said.

“If I hated Mr Moleleki, why did I hand him the position of Parliament’s l Leader of the Opposition in 2012. I chose to only take the benefits of a retired prime minister when I could have also taken the benefits of the Leader of the Opposition. Fortunately, the DC deputy leader knows the truth and told the five committees as much during the meeting.”

On allegations he intended to defect to the LCD and give the reins to Mr Metsing, the premier said: “I resigned from the leadership and membership of the LCD through a written letter at a time when the party was much stronger. No one else has ever done that. Some of you chose to just leave the party without any formal notices!

“I also want to remind you that according to the seven-party Coalition Agreement it is clear the position of prime minister emanates from the DC, while it is also clear that the deputy prime minister will come from the LCD.”

He continued: “That means there is no way I can go back to the LCD along with the position of prime minister which clearly belongs to the DC. “Again, there is no way I can transfer the position of prime minister from DC to LCD. These lies that I am about to return to the LCD are the fantasies of evil people who hate the fact that I am working well with the LCD leader in government.”

Dr Mosisili also scoffed at allegations he wanted to replace Mr Moleleki as party deputy leader.

“These unfounded allegations are being peddled barely six months from the National Elective Conference where the deputy leader was elected without anyone challenging him. If there is anyone who wants that position or who is being earmarked for it, he or she should have challenged the deputy leader during the conference.”

He said another other issue that was condemned during the meeting was the attacks by some DC members on the governing coalition parties in general and the LCD in particular.

“There was a concern that some of us in the DC seem to have quickly forgotten that we are in government because of the LCD. This means fighting the LCD is tantamount to stabbing ourselves on the stomach. I want to remind you, if you have forgotten, that the LCD sacrificed a lot for the Congress parties to return to government,” said Dr Mosisili

“When you are not be satisfied with certain things done by the LCD in the current government, the correct thing to do is to bring those concerns to the attention of the DC leadership so we can find ways to discuss them with the leadership of the LCD amicably.”

Dr Mosisili said party members weary of his leadership should follow the right procedures to remove him.

“To some of you who might have grown tired of me being the leader of DC, I want to make you aware of the right procedures you can follow based on the DC constitution to remove me from the position of leadership even before my tenure lapses,” he said.

“This is the only way you can remove the party leader from his position before the six-year term lapses. Those willing to do so can influence their constituencies and call for a special conference to remove the party leader.”

 

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