‘There is no plan to oust Mosisili’

‘There is no plan to oust Mosisili’

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THERE was chaos at the Cooperative College over the weekend when Democratic Congress (DC) youths exchanged blows in what is seen as a manifestation of the factionalism in the party.  In this edition thepost reveals that there is a plan to ease out Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili as leader of the coalition government and the party. The plan is that he will be replaced by his deputy Monyane Moleleke in late 2018 or early 2019, according to some senior party officials. To shed light on these issues we spoke to the party’s deputy secretary general Refiloe Litjobo. We started by asking him about the succession issue.

 

Modern parties in the world have clear succession plans so that there are no problems. 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 Committee (NEC) 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. This succession issue is probably being pushed by people who have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the party’s unity. Maybe those are the people who have such information. The succession plan of the DC 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. 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.

 

Who are these people you say are pushing an agenda?

 I cannot name them. But these are people who thought they could win the NEC positions but failed. They are saying a lot of things. They are hallucinating. We hear they are even talking about passing a vote of no confidence in the NEC. They want to test if their malicious campaign against the leadership has succeeded.  They want to see if their plan can work. These are the people I suspect are now talking about succession. What I can tell you is that the party remains united. The only thing is that there are people who are trying to push their own people into top positions. To me this is a fight back by people whose preferred candidates did not make it into the NEC and the youth league leadership. They are trying to create a platform for them to sneak their people into top positions.

 

But how can you say the party remains united when the youths are openly fighting?

 

To me these are people who are just keeping themselves busy with the succession issue which is not yet on the table. I cannot call what happened in Maseru over the weekend a fight. But maybe you could call it that, depending on how you look at it. There was another clash between the youths in Mohale’s Hoek two weeks ago. You can say that one was a bit bigger. In a way you could say the fights are still an indication of people who have their own agenda. But that does not mean the party is split. The structures of the party remain intact. Only people from the margins are trying to destabilise it. As long as the structures are intact you can say there is cohesion in the party.

 

Surely that cannot be a measure of unity in the party?

 It is a measure. If those in the margins are misbehaving the structures can always call them to order. The NEC has been very patient with most of the people in the hope that they will come back to their senses. People have been warned against using the radio to attack the leadership and the party. Circulars have been written to warn such people. There have been soft warnings as well. They have been told to stop bringing the party into disrepute.

 

Is there anyone who has been taken to task over the attacks on the party and the leadership?

Not yet. So far there have been soft warnings. People have been told to stop bringing the party into disrepute. The party has been very patient with them. But it’s clear that they are not stopping.  If they continue like that I don’t see why the party cannot discipline them.

 

But there are clear indications that the people attacking the leadership are taking instructions from some people at the top.

 Yes they represent some people. We want to know the people who are marshalling them. There is obviously someone behind it. They are pushing a plan. There is someone marshalling these people. What is clear is that the deputy leader is under siege from these people. These people are badmouthing the leader, his deputy and the whole leadership. It is the duty of every party member to protect the integrity of the party and its leadership. I see a grand plan here. I see those youths as part of someone’s plan. The party’s leadership is not at an auction. We don’t work like that as the DC. Anybody who feels they have as much support as the leaders of the DC in this country is mistaken.

 

Why is the issue of the deputy leader taking over so contentious?

 All I can say is that there is a purpose for having a deputy leader in any organisation. It is not for nothing that we have a deputy leader. We understand that the deputy leader is there and when the leader is not there he is the one who takes care of us as a party. The leader has not yet told us when he will retire. We wait for that time. As the NEC were are not focusing on that at the moment. We are not concerned with the politics of when the leader will leave office. But be assured that when that time comes the matter will be handled delicately using the policies and structures of the party.

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