Allow candid debate on succession issue

Allow candid debate on succession issue


THE Democratic Congress (DC) will next Saturday hold an emergency meeting in Maseru to tackle the issue of factionalism within the party.

Factionalism has become toxic for the party with members openly attacking each other in the media.

Prime Minister PakalithaMosisilimust allow unfettered debate on the issue and provide leadership on the way forward.The DC will only be able to exorcise its own demons if it allows a candid and no-holds barred debate on the issues at stake.

The party’s national executive committee must therefore refrain from attempting to whip party cadres into line. They must allow party members to discuss matters freely without any threat of retribution.

And the leadership of the party must listen.

As we have argued in previous editorials, the issue of succession lies at the epicenter of the current turmoil in the DC.

It would appear the unresolved succession issue was merely transferred from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) to the DC, lock, stock and barrel. The DC must now tackle this matter head on.

It must deal with the matter before it becomes toxic.

Unless the DC deals with the matter urgently the party risks further turmoil with cadres continuing to throw mud at each other in public. That would be unfortunate.

What we have seen over the past few weeks paints a picture of a party at war with itself. When youths begin to hurl insults at their seniors within the same party that can only be a harbinger of a bad omen. The party leadership must get to the root of the matter and stop the cat-fights.

Mosisili must use all his charm and wealth of experience to forestall historical mistakes that led to the break-up of the LCD. As leader, Mosisili is the glue that binds the DC together.

We watch to see how he will bring order back into the party.

As discussed in our lead story last week, we understand there is already talk behind the scenes with DC officials already planning a post-Mosisili era. This discussion is not treasonous.

Like all mortal men, Mosisili will eventually have to step down as party leader. It is therefore critical that the party has a clear succession plan to allow proper planning.

Succession planning is the hallmark of every successful organization.

Mosisili will be 75 at the next election in 2020. With that in mind, it would only be fair for the party to start this discussion about his successor while not giving an impression that they want to stampede him out of office.

With all that he has done for the party, Mosisili deserves a dignified exit, whenever he decides to step down.

While the discussion rages behind the scenes, Mosisili must manage the succession process. Next Saturday’s meeting is one of such processes.

If Mosisili decides he is not going to run in the next election in 2020, his successor must be given sufficient time to build capacity before the election. He will need sufficient time to market himself to the electorate.

If the DC wants to go into the next election as a strong party, it must start having this candid discussion on the succession issue. That debate must start now if it has not started already.

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