Youth leader in trouble

MASERU — Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth league secretary general, Lebaka Bulane (pictured), is in trouble after the league distanced itself from his attack on government ministers.

Bulane on Tuesday issued a scathing statement in which he accused four ministers of plunging Lesotho into poverty and marginalising Basotho through their decisions.

Targeted in the attack were Finance Minister Timothy Thahane, Home Affairs Minister Lesao Lehohla, Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki and Trade Minister Leketekete Ketso.

But the league yesterday distanced itself from the statement describing it as Bulane’s “one-man show”.

LCD youth league president Mosala Mojakisane last night said the league will instigate disciplinary measures against Bulane.

“We will deal with Bulane. There are measures that we can take against ill-disciplined members of the party and take up our findings with the LCD disciplinary committee,” Mojakisane said.

“We have called Bulane before the youth committee on Friday to state his case and explain to us why he takes critical decisions alone.”

The LCD youth league chairman, Thuso Litjobo, also told the Lesotho Times that Bulane exploited his political office “to further his own personal interests”.

“We have nothing to do with the press release. We wish to distance ourselves from its contents because it was not discussed by the youth committee,” Litjobo said.

He said issues raised by Bulane were personal and his motive to attack these ministers was a self-serving one.

“Bulane had a personal interest in the building that used to house Raytex, currently housing Jackpot Wholesale,” he added.

“He (Bulane) was desperate to have shares in a business there but failed to secure a deal and he is now angry and using his position in the youth league to attack the ministries”.

Litjobo said Bulane never consulted the LCD youth committee but went ahead to release the statement without permission.

“What I can tell you is that we had a meeting where we discussed the performance of all ministries and decided that it would be wise to meet with their principal secretaries,” Litjobo said.

“The intention was to understand how the ministries work and why they were failing in some areas. But we were still waiting for the LCD leader Ntate Pakalitha Mosisili, to give us permission to set up those appointments,” he added.

“For Bulane to say we knew about the press release would be an utter lie. We’ve never agreed to release a press statement of this nature,” Litjobo said.

He said the fact there was a single signature attached to the statement proved that Bulane was a “one-man show”.

“For it to be valid, President Mosala Mojakisane’s signature as well as that of the spokesperson, Mpaballeng Motjetjepa, should also be featured,” Litjobo said.

“We’ve released statements before. Our last statement for instance, (which called for the resignation of LCD secretary general Mothetjoa Metsing) had several signatures indicating that it was a collective effort.”

Mojakisane also told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday night that the youth wing had nothing to do with Bulane’s statement.

“It’s not the LCD youth committee’s doing. This press release has been issued without proper procedures being followed,” Mojakisane said.

A defiant Bulane however insisted his colleagues knew of the plan to release the statement.

“I did my research on the issues I’ve raised, after which I sought audience with the LCD leader (Mosisili) to discuss my findings. For four months I tried to no avail to secure a meeting with the PM,” Bulane said on Tuesday night.

“I only got a response in writing from the finance PS (Mosito Khethisa), while the home affairs PS (Rets’elisitsoe Khetsi) demanded that we meet face to face. But the meeting never materialised.”

Bulane added that he also consulted with members of the LCD youth committee and even went as far as asking Mojakisane to arrange a meeting with Mosisili.

“For a whole month I waited for feedback from Mojakisane, but nothing materialised,” he said.

Bulane said he also made attempts to meet with his colleagues last week to discuss the press statement “but nobody took notice”.

“I sent each one of them an identical text message informing them that I intended releasing the press statement this coming Friday,” he said.

“In the text messages, I had asked them to make suggestions and propose what should change about the contents of the statement but neither of them responded.

“I then decided to go ahead and release it. So for them to say they know nothing about the press release is misleading,” Bulane said.

He said he had also urged his colleagues within the youth league to focus less on factional fights and pay more attention to policy issues.

“I told them that it was time to stop focusing more on the factions and look at other important things which are beneficial to us as the youth,” Bulane claimed.

But Litjobo insisted it was the time to focus on the factions as that would “help us to protect our party as we head for elections”.

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