MEC: another typical Lesotho party

MEC: another typical Lesotho party

When the relatively young Selibe Mochoboroane jumped head first from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy ship in January 2017, he brought hope to many young people. Mochoboroane was a beacon of hope in a web of immense darkness that had consumed Lesotho’s political landscape.
By virtue of being young, Mochoboroane was also expected to have new and innovative ideas that would change Lesotho politics for the better. It is no secret that Lesotho politics need a paradigm shift. Time is long overdue for Lesotho to embark on politics of economic emancipation.

The Movement for Economic Change (MEC)’s election manifesto during the run-up to 2017 national assembly elections was very encouraging. One of the promises penned in that manifesto was to revamp the education curriculum so that it would suit modern times and produce entrepreneurs who would create jobs rather than seek employment.
Moreover, the MEC leader acknowledged that he was aware he was not the only one with such good ideas. He however pointed out that the MEC would make a difference through the way it would seek to implement the idea.
It is because of this line of thinking that the MEC seemed to be a hope for Basotho youth. In particular, the youths that are still in secondary schools and still have a chance to be part of the revamped curriculum.

In addition, the MEC leader, in his duty as the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, has been robust in his attempts to deal with those with long fingers. Mochoboroane and his team have gotten themselves a very good reputation as the men and women that do not tolerate any nonsense from public servants.
Conversely, the MEC’s utterings seem to be just another dream sold to helpless and poor Basotho. Just like other parties that have lost the trust of Basotho, the MEC has now begun to play old and irrelevant politics. This is in contrast with what the party stands for.
We know that party elective conferences have been a good platform in Lesotho to benchmark the performance and sustainability of political parties over the years. The MEC, just like other parties, also went through a baptism of fire during the preparation of their elective conference. There was the suspension of MEC Proportional Member of Parliament, Thabo Ramatla, popularly known as Mahapu.

The suspension of Mahapu came just a few days before the National Executive Committee Elections. It should be noted that Mahapu was contesting for a seat in the NEC.
The MEC indicated that they had suspended Mahapu because he has court cases involving corrupt activities. As such, they do not want their party to be associated with his deeds as they will tarnish their image. This could have been a good move if it was applied to all members.

What has baffled me and other political followers in Lesotho is the apparent bias with which the MEC has dealt with its issues. Makhetha Thaele, the MEC Treasurer, also has a fraud case in court. However, Thaele was allowed to contest the MEC elections which he won during the past weekend.
If indeed the suspension of Ramatla was not an internal political struggle, why then was Thaele allowed to contest the election? What is the difference between the allegations levelled against Mahapu from those of Thaele?

Both men have cases in the courts of law and should have been presumed innocent until they were found guilty by a court of law. The decision by the MEC to suspend Mahapu and bar him from contesting for a seat in the NEC tells another story.
The MEC like its name suggests is supposed to be a party that is for economic change. The little fights over who gets to contest for NEC posts should not be part of the party’s agenda.
The suspension of Ramatla should not have been allowed to happen in a party that seeks to emancipate the country economically. What happened at the MEC conference, both during campaigns and at the polls themselves, is a good example that we need to change the constitution of the country.

For the umpteenth, time I urge MPs to amend the constitution and ensure that proportional lists are submitted after the elections. The biggest losers should top the list. The reason for this sabotaging and fighting over election results is because a seat in the NEC guarantees a seat in the National Assembly.
As it stands, Mrs Mosothoane already knows that she may not make it to the next Parliament if she does not win the Mohale’s Hoek constituency.
However, Mrs Mosena’s future in the next Parliament is already secured as she will be number 2 on the MEC proportional list. It is high time Lesotho changes its electoral laws as this will also lead to more stability within political parties.

Kelello Rakolobe

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