A new broom sweeps better

A new broom sweeps better

Mathibeli Mokhothu, who was elected the new Democratic Congress (DC) leader at a party conference last weekend, assumes the reins of power at a time when the party is in the political wilderness.
Mokhothu will need to be politically astute if he is to lead the party out of the woods and make the DC a force to reckon with again in Lesotho. If he fails, the DC will be rendered irrelevant.
That would be sad for Lesotho and for democracy.

We must hasten and make it clear that we hold no brief for the DC and have no particular interest in seeing the party back in government.
However, we think a strong DC, even in opposition, will help keep the coalition government headed by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in check.

A strong DC can act as an effective buffer to a repressive regime.
With Mokhothu’s election, the DC has closed an exciting chapter in which former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was the dominant player for almost 20 years.

Having stepped down as party leader, Mosisili must now gracefully allow Mokhothu the space to run the party and shape it in his own image. Mosisili must resist the urge to pull the strings from the background.
As a young politician, Mokhothu must inject new ideas to deal with the myriad challenges confronting Lesotho. Lesotho needs young, vibrant and visionary leaders to haul it out of the mire.

The old generation has done its part and must now pave way for young leaders who want to dream of a better Lesotho. This generation must be allowed to dream.
At 42, Mokhothu has the advantage of youth. But youth alone is not enough. Mokhothu must show us what he is made of in terms of ideas of how he wants to take Lesotho forward.

The DC itself has gone through some trying times. Out of power and without access to state resources, the party has found itself struggling to reassert its influence.
The human rights violations that took place under Mosisili’s watch when he was in charge also damaged its standing in the eyes of the public. The party will need to go through some form of catharsis to reclaim its past glory.

Across town, trouble is brewing within the governing All Basotho Convention (ABC).
The party is locked in a bitter fight to block National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice-Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao from contesting at the party’s elective conference next week.
That is sad.

We hope the party will be able to thrash out matters so that all of its talented sons and daughters are given a crack for the party’s top positions.

The argument that Professor Mahao does not bear “struggle scars” and that he is a newcomer to the ABC will not help the party recruit within its ranks talented Basotho who can make a difference in the politics of Lesotho.
It is on that basis that we think the ABC must allow Prof Mahao a chance to contest at the party’s conference.
It would be a travesty of justice were the party to deny him the chance to seek a leadership position at the conference.

Of course, if Mahao does not have the numbers, the people will emphatically reject him and he will only have himself to blame.
Dragging the party through court cases will only further damage the party in the eyes of Basotho.


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