Mochoboroane quits LCD

Mochoboroane quits LCD

MASERU – SMALL Business Development Minister Selibe Mochoboroane has left the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) to form his own party.

Mochoboroane announced his newly formed Movement for Economic Change (MEC) party at a press conference yesterday.

And in what is certainly a major blow for the LCD, Mochoboroane says he has the support of four MPs from the former ruling party whose support base has been in free-fall in the past five years.

“Four of them wear black, green and red outside but inside they wear royal blue and white because they are for the MEC,” said the former LCD secretary general.

He however did not mention their names for fear that they might lose their seats because PR MPs are not supposed to openly change their political allegiance. Mochoboroane’s move and that of his four comrades dramatically changes the matrix in parliament and could also affect the government which is already facing a vote of no confidence from the opposition.

It means that the government is no longer guaranteed of the votes of five more MPs and therefore could be at the mercy of the opposition which claims it has the support of 75 MPs.
The Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili-led government is already reeling from the loss of 21 MPs who defected to the Alliance of Democrats with former Democratic Congress deputy leader Monyane Moleleki.

Mochoboroane, who was suspended from the LCD for allegedly touting members to join his party, said he will however remain a minister until he is fired.

“I will continue with my ministerial duty until I am told to stop,” Mochoboroane said.
He said he has told Speaker of Parliament, Ntlhoi Motsamai, that if he is fired as a minister he will sit on a crossbench section of the House.

“At present there is no crossbench in the House because it has to be prepared for first. I told her that I will formally write her so that I can move to the crossbench,” he said.

“One has to write to the Speaker so that an arrangement can be made for him to be declared officially as an occupier of a seat on the crossbench.”

Mochoboroane said that will give him a chance to decide whether to vote with or against the government depending on the issue on discussion.

He however said he will not vote for the no-confidence motion to topple the coalition government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
Mochoboroane said the MEC has five supporters in the House who are proportional representation MPs for the LCD.

He said his party is founded on political tolerance and economic emancipation and “I will not allow myself to be pulled back by out-dated petty politics of political discrimination based on whether one is inclined to nationalistic or congress movement ideologies”.

“Ours is politics of economic development. Those of you who joined us from the Democratic Congress, do not burn your DC party regalia,” he said.

“The same thing applies to those who come from the LCD, ABC and other political parties. Gone are the days when we used to call our political opponents with derogative names merely because they are more inclined to either nationalistic or congress ideology,” he said.

He said it is a norm in Lesotho for a person to be denied a business opportunity, education scholarship or government employment because he is a member of one of these movements.
“We are lagging behind economically because we waste time on these petty politics,” Mochoboroane said.

The MEC motto is ke nako, meaning “now it is time”.
Mochoboroane said it is high time Basotho reject “separatist political” ideologies and concentrate on growing the national economy.

He said he does not want to be associated with his former political inclination of congress and he has not crossed to the nationalist one but prefers to be referred to as “MEC member”.
“I grew up in the congress movement but I have not inherited that spirit that divides this nation.”

“May it be so with all those who join the MEC.”
He said he will not allow himself to exchange petty arguments with his political opponents, such as being vulgar or levelling baseless accusations against them.

Mochoboroane, who is only 39-years-old, said it will be immoral for him to do that against the All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane or Prime Minister Mosisili.
“Many of these leaders are old enough to be my parents,” he said.

Staff Reporter

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