MAFETENG – LESOTHO Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing has lashed out at Movement for Economic Change leader, Selibe Mochoboroane for dumping the LCD and called on the Thabana-Morena constituency in Mafeteng to vote against the latter and his party in the 3 June elections.
Mr Metsing said this while addressing a political rally this week in Thabana-Morena which was attended by approximately 6000 supporters clad in LCD and Democratic Congress (DC) party regalia.
Mr Metsing said the numbers signaled that the LCD/DC alliance would emerge victorious in the snap polls.
Mr Mochoboroane was the legislator for Thabana-Morena in the Ninth Parliament that was dissolved last month by His Majesty King Letsie III to pave way for snap election on 3 June.
His Majesty’s decision followed the no confidence vote in parliament against the seven parties’ coalition government headed by the DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili with Mr Metsing as Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Mochoboroane, a former Small Business Development Minister and former LCD secretary-general, jumped ship in December to form the MEC after being provisionally suspended from the LCD post.
And in his weekend address, Mr Metsing accused Mr Mochoboroane of turning his back on the constituency and the LCD who had moulded him into the “celebrated politician that he is today”.
He said that they were forced to go for elections after Mr Mochoboroane and Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader, Monyane Moleleki got into alliance with the opposition block to frustrate government operations.
“We are here today because of what has happened to LCD and we are going for elections because ntate Selibe, who was our secretary general, forced us to go to elections,” Mr Metsing said.
He said that Mr Mochoboroane “owed his popularity to Thabana-Morena and LCD,” adding by turning his back on the LCD, the latter had also had turned his back against his own ‘anointing’ by the Thabana-Morena constituency.
Mr Metsing told the LCD/DC supporters that Mr Mochoboroane dumped the LCD after he was reassigned from the Ministry of Energy to the Small Business, Development and Marketing ministry.
Mr Mochoboroane made a name for himself by intensifying the rural electrification project.
“I have worked in many ministries and I never felt aggrieved when I was reshuffled from one ministry to another and I wonder what ntate Mochoboroane was getting from the Energy Ministry that he got so angry and left the LCD when he was removed from that ministry.
“He must have benefitted personally from that ministry. Ministers are foot soldiers and must therefore work hard to deliver services to the people and ntate Mochoboroane was simply doing that; he was no better than anyone else,” Mr Metsing said.
He said that without the government purse, ministers would not be able to connect houses to electricity in their personal capacity and it was therefore misleading to say electricity connections at Thabana-Morena were the result of Mr Mochoboroane’s hard work.
Mr Metsing said they would go the extra mile to win back the Thabana-Morena constituency and show Mr Mochoboroane that he was doomed outside LCD.
“We are therefore here to strengthen you and remind you that all these developments in the constituency were brought by LCD, not some individual.
“If Ntate Mochoboroane sees me as the bad person that he says I am today, he should be reminded that he would not have tasted a ministerial position if it was not for me.
I made sure that he was appointed minister trusting that he would help us deliver services and he did but his problem was listening to the enemies when they told him he was a strong man in his own right,” Mr Metsing said.
He said Mr Mochoboroane’s political story was similar to that of the biblical Absalom who portrayed his father as a bad person to win his servants in his plot to usurp his father King David’s kingdom.
However, MEC spokesperson Napo Moshoeshoe, rubbished Mr Metsing’s claims in an interview with this publication yesterday.
“In 2014 when the country was preparing for 2015 snap elections, ntate Metsing approached individuals like ntate (Makhetha) Thaele, ntate (Lebohang) Thotanyana and ntate (Joshua) Setipa to stand for elections and help LCD win more constituencies.
“He did this after realising that his own image was tarnished and that people would rather vote for individuals with a good standing. But to show that the public’s votes are influenced by the image of a party leader, the three men failed to win constituencies with voters telling them they would have voted for them had it not been for LCD leader, ntate Metsing,” Mr Moshoeshoe said.
Mr Moshoeshoe said Mr Mochoboroane won because of his own good standing in Thabana-Morena and therefore “it is a farfetched imagination to say ntate Mochoboroane will not win back Thabana-Morena”.
He said the LCD move to have famo musician Bereng Majoro, popularly known as Lekase, compete against Mr Mochoboroane in Thabana-Morena was like previous similar moves that failed and would surely fail again.
“Malumeng people know ntate Mochoboroane and they are going to vote for him come June 3.
“On the issue that ntate Mochoboroane owes his success to LCD, the biggest question is why did not the entire party rise with ntate Mochoboroane when he was on the ground doing work for people? That is because LCD is a dead horse. Ntate Mochoboroane, as a striker, scored as an individual and the coach never scored.”
He said MEC’s “rapid growth” was an indication that Mr Mochoboroane did not need LCD to shine and that he was shining because of his God-given leadership skills; a skill he said Mr Metsing lacked.
He said Mr Metsing had himself to blame for the collapse of the seven-party coalition government.
“Ntate Metsing failed to listen to ntate Mochoboroane’s advice when he told him not to support the protest march organised to show support for Prime Minister Mosisili.
“Ntate Mochoboroane warned that in supporting this march, LCD was contributing to destroying the biggest party in the coalition government (DC) thus threatening the government and ntate Metsing didn’t listen. He has himself to blame,” Mr Moshoeshoe said.