Why AD youth league was dissolved

Why AD youth league was dissolved

MASERU-A fierce factional battle is the reason why the Alliance of Democrats (AD) abruptly dissolved its youth league committee last week. So serious is the intra-fighting that it is now threatening to tear apart the party, amid allegations that the youths are being used as pawns in a proxy battle.

Explaining the decision on Monday AD leader, Monyane Moleleki, painted a picture of a youth league that was incompetent and quarrelsome. The youths, Moleleki said, need “to be politically honed first so that in the future they will handle issues with a speck of maturity”.

“We will build this committee from the low level till the higher level which will help them to be good leaders for tomorrow,” he said, adding that the youths must remember that their role in politics is not just to sing. Moleleki’s statements gave the impression that the dissolution was amicable and in the spirit of helping the youth league leaders.

What he didn’t reveal is that the youth league is torn apart by factionalism. The National Executive Committee (NEC)’s decision to dissolve the league committee seems to have deepened the factionalism, with some youths accusing the party leaders of interfering with the running of the league’s operations and fanning the squabbles.

Some youth leaders accused former youth league president, Thuso Litjobo, who is now in the National Executive Committee (NEC) and is party spokesperson, of fanning the factional fights and instigating the youth league’s dissolution. They allege that Litjobo has ‘captured’ the leader and is using his influence to remotely control the youth league.

They also said Litjobo influenced the NEC to disband the committee because he could not control who would be elected to replace him. Litjobo however says these allegations are “nonsense” and were an attempt to destroy the party from within. One of those furious at the NEC’s decision is the acting youth league president, Motsamai Motjeketje.

“Most of the secret meetings have been organized by Litjobo and he is the one who suggested to the NEC that the youth committee be disbanded,” Motjeketje said in an interview with thepost.

He said Litjobo had shown that he still wants to influence the committee’s operations and who leads it. “He is refusing to let go. As the former youth league leader he should be defending us but he is not. Instead he is pushing against us.” Motjeketje said at the core of the fight is who will take over from Litjobo.

“It seems the NEC wants to control the youth league. They want to dictate who leads it and how it operates. That is not right.”

“They did not even want us to have a conference to elect a new president. They just want us to fill the vacancy.” Motjeketje said he believes Moleleki has been misled by the NEC to say the league committee is incompetent.

“Not so long ago the leader was commenting us for a job well done. When he was asked by a local radio station if we are incompetent he said we were not.”

“We will continue to fight until the leaders see that he is being misled.” But Litjobo said it was the youth league committee that insisted it should be disbanded. Litjobo told thepost that the NEC tried to find other means to deal with factionalism but the youths would not compromise.

“They could not deal with their differences to an extent that they felt that they could not sit together to talk,” Litjobo said.

“The problem was that they could not even vote for whatever decisions they wanted to reach because their voting strengths were equal.”

“We asked them to give us more time to ponder on their issues and when we called them back after some time they still insisted that they should be dissolved.”

“We had no alternative but to do as they asked.” Litjobo said the factionalism in the youth league is the extension of divisions that rocked the party ahead of an elective conference in February.

At that time there were two main factions, one supporting Litjobo and another rallying behind then secretary general, Mokhele Moletsane. “We have amicably solved that problem and we are one as the party but unfortunately the youths are still holding fast to that.”

He said the NEC has the authority to disband the youth and women’s league committee. “These two committees are not totally independent. Their powers are limited compared to the NEC’s, which is executing the decisions of the general meeting of the party and working in its stead.”

Litjobo also vehemently denied the allegation that he has “captured” the leader. “That is a serious insult to my leader,” Litjobo said.

“Note that my leader never dissolved the youth league committee and neither I but the national executive committee at the advice of the very same youth league committee,” he said.

“Those who say I have captured the leader are political charlatans who are still wet behind their ears,” he said, adding that “the time is coming when they will feel the extent of my might in the defence of my leader and the party”.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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