ABC factional fights hit government projects

ABC factional fights hit government projects

TEYA-TEYANENG – THE ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party’s internal fights have spilled over into government projects as factions battle to control resources, thepost can reveal.
This was vividly illustrated this week as Berea district councils stood toe-to-toe with Local Government Minister Litšoane Litšoane.
Yesterday, the district councils vowed publicly that they were going to defy a directive by Litšoane to take the ministry’s heavy machinery “where he wants to take them”.

The councils, led by their chairman Pheta Letsoela, have openly defied Litšoane’s directive to take the ministry’s earthmoving machinery “to where there is a greater need”, at least according to him.
Litšoane admitted to thepost last night that party factionalism had played a role in the councils’ decision to defy his instruction.
“Unfortunately for them, they seem not to know that I am not in any of the factions,” Litšoane said.
“I have been appointed a minister and I am doing the government’s job as a minister not a party member or follower,” he said.
“I was specifically instructed by the Prime Minister to ensure that there are roads in the Mosalemane constituency when he was there recently holding a public gathering,” he said.

Litšoane said it would be senseless to go back to the Prime Minister to report that the councils are refusing to go to Mosalemane to construct roads in the constituency.
“No, I will have to show them that I am the head of this ministry and will ensure that government policy is followed to the letter,” he said.
He blamed chairman of Koeneng Council, Pheta Letsoela, for the problems.
Litšoane said he defeated Letsoela during the ABC’s primary elections in Bela-Bela constituency in 2007 and “ever since that day, he has been bitter”.
“I have studied him and I know that he does not understand that I am not in any of the factions. I don’t want to drag my name into the factions.”

He said the councils will still come to him for their financial and other needs “as the head of the Ministry of Local Government”.
He said he was surprised that Letsoela was refusing to take the machines to his own constituency “merely because he has issues with me”.
“What kind of logic is this?”

The Chairperson of Kanana Community Council, Mahlomola Raphoka, also said the conflicts within the ruling party are wreaking havoc in the government’s service delivery programme.
Raphoka said he also believed the other contributing factor is that Litšoane “wants to (assert) his power because in primaries he was challenged by Pheta Letsoela, chairperson of district councils”.
“I think he wants to show that he is more powerful than Letsoela,” he said.
Letsoela said they “made a decision not to comply with the minister’s commands”.
He said they had a meeting on April 5 where they reached a decision not to heed Litšoane’s directives.

“The secretary of Berea District Councils received a call from the minister to include Bela-Bela Constituency in the plans for construction of roads, including the road to Mosalemane,” Letsoela said.
He also said minister said Mapheleng road should also be worked out.
“We had to construct roads in Kanana and the minister said we should not, instead we should go build roads in Mosalemane,” he said.
Letsoela said they asked Litšoane to write down his demands but he refused.
He said the minister told them that he had made a decision that the earth moving equipment should go to Mosalemane.
“He told our official to go and evaluate the roads he said should be constructed,” Letsoela said.

Litšoane said the councilors were already fuming when they entered his office for the meeting they had asked “and I minced no words when I told them that the machines will go to Mosalemane”.
“The Prime Minister instructed me in the presence of the Mosalemane community and I am obeying the commands of the one who appointed me,” he said.
“Let anybody who oppose me do so but the machines will go there as I have instructed.”
Litšoane said: “I’ve got all the powers to demand that and it will be done.”

Nkheli Liphoto

 

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