‘RCL infighting threat to opposition’

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

PARTIES in the tripartite opposition bloc have called on the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) to find an amicable solution to the internecine strife rocking the party for the common good of the alliance.

Officials from the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho National Party (BNP) told the Lesotho Times yesterday they would not intervene in the infighting rocking the RCL since it was “a passing phase”.

The RCL is part of the three-party opposition bloc along with the ABC and BNP. All three parties have been rocked by infighting with the ABC having suspended its deputy leader Tlali Khasu last month for allegedly castigating party leader and former premier Thomas Thabane during a radio programme. Mr Khasu is now seeking to invalidate his suspension before the Court of Appeal.

The BNP expelled ’Makhotso Matšumunyane and Lesojane Leuta as party members earlier this year, and is seeking the duo’s ouster as members of parliament in the High Court.

For its part, the RCL’s infighting came to a head last week after Secretary-General Mamolula Ntabe announced exiled party leader Keketso Rantšo and her deputy Dr Motloheloa Phooko had resigned from their positions fueling speculation of a power struggle in the year-old party.

However, Ms Rantšo and Dr Phooko denied the claim, saying it was a ploy to destabilise the party..

Ms Rantšo, Dr Phooko and RCL youth league leader Retšelisitsoe Lesane have been linked to one of the contending factions, while Ms Ntabe and other National Executive Committee members are linked to the other.

As a result, some RCL members have accused Ms Ntabe of having joined forces with Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), of which the RCL is an offshoot, to destabilise the party.

However, RCL spokesperson Moshe Kopanye has insisted elsewhere in this edition that Ms Ntabe had no intention to unseat Ms Rantšo and Dr Phooko or join forces with the LCD as claimed by her detractors.

The LCD has also denied the allegations, with party spokesperson Teboho Sekata saying: “There is nothing like that and unless there is proof I am not going to entertain this issue.”

ABC Secretary-General Samonyane Ntsekele yesterday told the Lesotho Times they would leave the RCL to deal with its internal issues since it was an independent party.

“We have had our fair share of internal fights like the suspension of our deputy leader and they gave us the space to work our issues out, and that is exactly what we are going to do,” he said.

“However, our expectation and wish is that they will deal with the matter peacefully for the good of us all in the opposition.”

BNP spokesperson Machesetsa Mofomobe echoed the sentiment, saying they would not meddle but allow the RCL to sort out its internal issues.

“We have to and we are going to leave the RCL to sort out its own issues just like they respected us when we had our own issues. What we have is a respectful partnership. We shall let them work out their internal conflicts and hope they do so amicably,” Mr Mofomobe said.

“I had the opportunity to meet with Ms Ntabe after these allegations and I did not detect any change in how she operates.”

He added: “She is still the person I have always known and that is the spirit. None of our partners’ problems should affect our operations as the opposition bloc. I have also listened to her on different media platforms refuting allegations that she could have been bribed to destabilise the opposition bloc and RCL and I have no reason to doubt her.”

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