Top Christian Council official in hot water

Billy Ntaote

The Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) vice-chairperson, Matjako Nkhahle, is facing disciplinary action for reportedly bringing the ecumenical organisation into disrepute.
Ms Nkhahle is in hot water for her interview which appeared in the Lesotho Times last week, in which she said the CCL did not sanction Reverend Tšeliso Masemene’s trip to New Zealand.

Reverend Masemene, who is a board member of the CCL, was part of a high-powered delegation of local politicians, senior government officials and civil society representatives who were in New Zealand from June 28 to July 5 to study that country’s governance system.

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However, in an interview with the Lesotho Times, Ms Nkhahle said Reverend Masemene was not representing the CCL during the trip, adding members of the organisation were also not happy with role the Council is being expected to play in the fallout between the country’s three governing political parties.
But the CCL Executive Committee has reacted angrily to Ms Nkhahle’s suggestions.

In a statement, the CCL stated: “On the 14th July 2014, both the heads of churches, together with their CCL Executive Committee, met to discuss the article which appeared in the Lesotho Times headlined ‘CCL Denounces New Zealand trip’.
“The CCL Executive Committee, in no uncertain terms, condemned categorically the unilateral decision taken by Mrs Nkhahle for both the defamation of Reverend Masemene’s character and bringing the Council into disrepute.

“Mrs Nkhahle was rebuked for the abuse of power entrusted in her as a vice-chairperson of the CCL, for her action and failure to involve the Council’s Public Relations Officer (Mr Potjo Potjo). She apologised.
“Both of Heads of Churches and the CCL Executive Committee accepted her apology but exhorted her to apologise in writing to Rev T.S. Masemene, the LECSA as a member-church of the CCL and the entire Executive Committee of the CCL for usurping its powers”.
However, according to Mr Potjo, Ms Nkhahle could still face disciplinary action for her comment.

“The CCL has a Board of Trustees who are commonly known as the Heads of Churches and they are a constitutional structure in the CCL that even possesses powers to dissolve the organisation.
“The Executive Committee within which the vice-chairperson Nkhahle is a member, is a policing arm of the council that oversees the daily activities of the CCL and is mandated by the CCL AGM.
“The Executive Committee, as an ecumenical organisation of different churches, accepts that we are from different doctrines, but we unite to address common interests and do not engage in discussion of issues that we know our doctrines are clear that we differ,” Mr Potjo said.

“Whenever the CCL needs to pronounce itself regarding any issue, there must be consultation amongst member-churches and they must agree on what position the CCL should take. This did not happen when Mrs Nkhahle gave the interview in question.”

Talking about the CCL’s current mediation, which seeks to end the feuding between the All Basotho Convention, Basotho National Party and Lesotho Congress — the three parties which formed a coalition government in June 2012 — Mr Potjo said:
“In the history of mediation processes, the Heads of Churches have always been the ones at the forefront of such processes.
“Currently, the mediation process we are in is being facilitated by Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi, Reverend Tšeliso Masemene, Bishop Adam Taaso, and Reverend Daniel Rafube and not the executive committee of the CCL,” said Potjo.
Meanwhile, attempts to get Mrs Nkhahle’s side of the story were futile yesterday.

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