RCL’s troubles pile up

RCL’s troubles pile up

MASERU – THE Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL)’s internal troubles are piling up.
A faction in the party’s national executive committee is now calling on Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to fire party leader Keketso Rantšo as Minister of Labour and Employment.

Malibo Setjeo, speaking for the faction against Rantšo, yesterday told thepost that they wrote to Prime Minister Thabane advising him to fire Rantšo from the cabinet.
Setjeo, who claims to be the party’s official spokesman, said they wrote the letter “sometime in March or April” but Thabane is yet to respond.

He said Rantšo does not want to work with the RCL National Executive Committee at all.
“This has been an issue since September last year,” Setjeo said.
He said when the factory workers petitioned Thabane to fire Rantšo on Monday they realised that they are not alone in demanding her ouster.

Setjeo said it could have been impossible for the trade unions to have petitioned the Prime Minister to fire Rantšo if she was working with them as the NEC to discuss issues affecting their party and her ministry.
He said Rantšo would not be facing the unions’ wrath if she was “working with the NEC and take advice from it” because the “Labour Ministry belongs to RCL and not to Rantšo as an individual”.
Setjeo said the RCL does not want to leave the coalition government but is adamant that Rantšo should be out of cabinet.

The RCL has two groups claiming to be members of the national executive committee.
Setjeo reiterated that their dispute with the leader “is a long standing one”.
He said they have always informed their leader about the plight of factory workers.
He said they have also lodged their complaints to Rantšo that the handling of labour disputes was being delayed to be handled.

Setjeo said their party went to elections last year without any financial support from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) because they failed to file returns to the IEC for the 2015 elections.
“IEC therefore failed to finance us last year because we did not file our returns,” he said.

He said there are just three people in the executive committee of nine members who are on Rantšo’s side.
“It is mind boggling that Rantšo wants to lead with people in her camp who could not even form a quorum.”
Setjeo said there is nothing like RCL youth league and RCL women’s league in their party.
Speaking from China last night, RCL youth league president Retšelisitsoe Lesane, said it is a blatant lie that his leader does not want to meet the NEC.

Lesane is in a faction that supports the leader.
He said by virtue of being the president of the youth league, he is a member of the RCL NEC.
He said the faction which is against the leader sabotaged earlier meetings that they held, a move which was meant to embarrass Rantšo.

He said it is for this reason that their differences landed in court.
There is a RCL pending case in the courts.
Lesane said what is worrisome is that the other faction invites the other parties to solve their differences.
“They should not be allowed to get into RCL affairs,” he said.

He said they are still continuing with the party’s programmes while they are also waiting for the court decision over the case.

Lesane said Setjeo’s faction is out of order as it could not have a legitimate decision to remove the leader without informing her.

He said within the RCL, it is only the leader or deputy who could authorise big issues which affect the party.
Rantšo’s phone rang unanswered when thepost tried to get comment from her last night.
Earlier this week Lesane made a public statement warning that the other faction wants out of the coalition government.

“The RCL national executive committee has never sat and discussed getting out of the coalition government,” Lesane said.

“We have not instructed the general secretary (’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie who is also the principal secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs) to write a letter withdrawing the party from the coalition,” he said.

Majara Molupe

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