‘Exit plan’ for Mosisili

‘Exit plan’ for Mosisili

Staff Reporter

MASERU

SENIOR Democratic Congress (DC) officials are pushing a plan to retire Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and replace him with his deputy Monyane Moleleke, thepost can reveal.

The plan which has been in the works for almost a year now is to gradually manage out Mosisili as head of the coalition government and leader of the DC.

The idea, according to several senior officials, is that Mosisili will relinquish power at the next elective conference likely to be held late 2018 or early 2019, as part of the succession plan some DC quarters think is urgent.

Moleleki, who is also minister of police, will then lead the party and the government to the 2020 election.

At the core of the reasoning behind this plan is that Mosisili will be 75 by the time of the election, an advanced age some think will wear him down.

A source in the DC’s top echelons told thepost that the plan could have been executed “much earlier” had it not been for concerns about Moleleki’s health.

“Now that he has recovered the plan is back on course,” the source said. He said Mosisili has been “sounded out” on the issues and “doesn’t seem hostile to the idea.

“He seems to understand that this is a natural progression, something that has to be done for the party. There is nothing sinister about it.”

The plan has however triggered factional fights within the ruling party. The battles pit those who want Mosisili to hand over the reins before the next general election against those who think he must stay on as party leader.

The fights could explain the fist fights that happened at a meeting of DC youths at Cooperative College over the weekend.

What was meant to be a peace indaba to unite the youths turned violent when the youths clashed over T-shirts that seem to mirror the divisions in the party over the succession issue.

The fracas was between a group wearing T-shirts with Mosisili and those wearing T-shirts that had the faces of both Mosisili and Moleleki. Police had to be called to restore order.

Two weeks ago DC youths also fought at a meeting in Mohale’s Hoek.

The party’s secretary general Ralechate Mokose said he did not know anything about the succession plan.

“I am the secretary general of the DC and I believe that such an issue could not sidestep me. Nothing of this kind was ever discussed in any of our meetings,” Mokose said.

“All we know is that we have a leader who is running the coalition government until 2020 in this ninth parliament. What happens thereafter we are yet to know. However, we are not concerned about that now.”

On the conflict Mokose said the national executive committee will meet today to discuss the issue.

“Tomorrow we are meeting as the NEC of the DC to discuss how to manage these conflicts without necessarily pinning the blame on any of the two sides in conflict,” he said.

’Mokose’s deputy Refiloe Litjobo also said he was not aware of the succession plan.

“Modern parties in the world have clear succession plans so that there are no problems,” Litjobo said.

“The DC as a party that was born out of the succession quarrels should have been prepared to rise above the issue of who will replace who and when.”

“But the truth is that as the national executive we have not yet discussed the issue. The date of when the leader will leave office and who will replace him has not yet been discussed,” he said.

He said it is possible that the succession plan is being pushed by people who “have their own agendas that have nothing to do with the party’s unity”.

The succession plan of the DC, he said, is not something that should be handled recklessly.
“When the leader says it’s time to hand over power he will inform the national executive which will put the matter to the national conference for the people to decide. This is a very delicate issue,” Litjobo said.

“People should know that we don’t commodify our leadership. We are not at an auction. This is the leadership of the biggest party in the country. The DC has its rules, norms and values to deal with its own issues,” he said.

 

 

 

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