Mosisili under fire

Mosisili under fire

Staff Reporter

MASERU – PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s decision to embrace a march his party had not sanctioned will dominate the Democratic Congress (DC)’s National Executive Committee meeting early next week.

The issue is also likely to be discussed at the party’s leadership conference scheduled for the second week of October.

The meeting is likely to be stormy amid revelations that most executive committee members are unhappy over the way the march was handled, especially Mosisili’s attendance.

Organised by the Lesotho People’s Party member Bokang Ramatsella, Sunday’s march could have further deepened the vicious factional fights with the DC.

Ramatsella said the march was meant to show confidence in Mosisili and Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli who is under local and international pressure to quit as army commander.

All but two members of the executive committee did not participate in the party, in what observers are calling a tacit boycott and a sure sign that the party is deeply divided.

It was telling that as Mosisili addressed the crowd at Machabeng College, Monyane Moleleke, his deputy, was addressing his own rally in Machache constituency some 40km away.

Moleleki is said to have received an invitation from the organisers late Friday but his request for further details were no answered.

Party spokesperson Seriolong Qoo and Treasurer Mamphono Kakhetla were the only members of the DC’s 16-member executive committee who attended the march.

On Friday DC secretary general Relechate ‘Mokose had issued a circular suggesting that the party had not played a part in organising the march. He said members who would attend would do so of their own volition but should know that the party would not be held responsible for anything that happens at the meeting.

thepost understands some members of the executive committee are not happy that Mosisili had attended a political march organised in his name but not endorsed by the party.

The executive committee members who spoke to thepost said the committee had not been aware of the march although it is the one responsible for such political events.

“Yet Mosisili goes ahead to condone such a meeting which is being held outside party structures,” said the executive committee member who added that the majority of his members share his frustration at what happened on Sunday.

“The executive committee wants to understand why this happened. That he allowed himself to be part of a political march that had nothing to do with the party shows something about his leadership”.

“What has angered the committee is that he did not even inform it of his decision to attend the march. His subordinates in the leadership were not aware of the march. We heard of the march on radio.”

“This creates the impression that he is now running a parallel structure.”

The committee member further said “what is particularly disturbing is that the people who lost at the elective conference in January are now the ones who seem to be controlling Mosisili”.

Key figures in the coalition government like Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing attended the march.

Ramatsella, the march’s organiser-in-chief, said the concerns from DC executive committee are unfounded because the march had nothing to do with Mosisili as leader of the DC.

That the DC executive committee did not attend the meeting is not surprising, he said.

“It would have been surprising if they had attended because we are aware that they were accusing us of supporting Mosisili to give an advantage over Moleleki,” he said.

“They are however mistaken because we were supporting him as prime minister not as leader of the DC.”

‘Mokose told thepost he only became aware of the march when he received an invitation from the organisers on Friday.

“That is the only time I knew of the march and the people who were organising it. Even then, the letter was inviting me as a minister and not secretary general of the party,” Mokose said.

He said he had spent the whole week before the march trying to get an appointment with Mosisili.

“When on Friday it looked like I was not going to get an appointment to meet my leader I consulted with the deputy leader (Moleleki) who asked me if I had received an invitation as secretary general of the party.”

Asked if the issue will be discussed at the next executive conference, ‘Mokose was noncommittal.

He said the party is however planning a leadership conference on October 8.

“If the issue is discussed then it will be under any other business,” he said.

The DC is in the throes of bitter factional battles pitting those who want Mosisili to remain leader against those who want him replaced by Moleleki.

The fights recently played out in the open when the DC youth league launched a scathing and unprecedented attack on Finance Minister Kakhetla, accusing her of soliciting a M4 million bribe from a company that had bid for the government’s fleet management contract.

Last week Khaketla said she is a victim of a faction gunning for Mosisili.

“I am only a bridge to the leader,” she said as she dismissed the bribery accusations as “mere allegations”.

Months earlier youths from the two factions came to blows on two occasions. In recent times the party has insisted that the factional fights were a ‘thing of the past’. Yet with each passing week more incidents are proving that the fights have escalated.

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