Mosisili: the architect of his own downfall

Mosisili: the architect of his own downfall

The old adage that says it never rains but pours has been very true for Democratic Congress (DC) leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, during the last two weeks of December.
This is because in just a few days, the Democratic Congress lost its Secretary General Semano Sekatle to the All Basotho Convention (ABC). The women’s league president, Pontso Sekatle, also resigned from her post, although she maintains she is still a member of the DC.

To compound matters, some members of the newly elected Youth League committee defected to the Alliance of Democrats (AD) party. All these disgruntled members complained about what they said was poor leadership by the DC’s National Executive Committee.
They also complained about Mosisili’s decision to stay too long in power and a tendency by the NEC to plot the downfall of other members. They say this has become part of the culture within the party.

This clearly shows that the party is in trouble. Yet it also reminded me of a story I was told by my father whilst growing up. The old man remains a good story teller even up to this day.
Most of the stories he still shares with us are very informative and teach us valuable life lessons. One of the stories he told me that I still cherish even today is that of a Boy Scout instructor.
As he was training his charges to march, his son instead of putting the left foot first, put the right one. The instructor, did not want to believe that his only son could not march correctly, as such he told the Scouts. “Every one of you is wrong, except for my dearest John.”
The relevance of this story to my topic today is that when people left the Congress party under the leadership of Dr Mosisili, some people felt all those people were wrong and they were fighting for a leadership position.

When Kelebone Maope and cadres in the Lesiba faction left on October, 8, 2001, they were accused of seeking the ouster of Dr Mosisili so that they could replace him with Maope. The Lesiba faction eventually became the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) party.
A couple of years later, in October 2006, other disgruntled members, under the leadership of the current Prime Minister Dr Thomas Thabane, also left Mosisili who was still the leader of the LCD. They formed the All Basotho Convention (ABC).

Mosisili never took time to introspect on what he may have been doing wrong for so many people to be leaving the party under his leadership. As the followers we always blamed those who left for being in the wrong as the leader was always right in our eyes.
The problems of the LCD never ceased. Just before the 2012 elections, Mosisili abandoned the LCD and formed the DC following a bitter battle for the control of the party’s NEC.
The Mosisili faction believed the Metsing faction were not very cultured people as they wanted to push for the removal of Mosisili as the leader of the party. After the elections, the DC managed to get a meagre 41 constituencies, and seven proportional representative seats.

This was a massive blow for Mosisili who had won 79 constituencies during the heydays of the LCD in the 2001 elections. The number of DC seats continued to decline in the 2015 snap election even though they managed to form a coalition with six other parties.
Unfortunately the coalition was short lived as Monyane Moleleki jumped ship and formed the Alliance of Democrats. Mosisili sought to break the Moleleki camp by dangling ministerial positions to some of Moleleki’s lieutenants.

We all remember the hasty appointment of Hon Moletsane to be a fully-fledged minister and the appointment of Hon Manthabiseng Phohleli to the position of deputy minister.
Regrettably, on the part of Mosisili, Moletsane and Phohleli never fell for his strategy. However, one member who was rumoured to be in the Moleleki camp was hooked and subsequently ditched his faction.

Today, it would appear the Lesotho government is using Mosisili’s own strategy by luring his MPs with ministerial posts. This is the same phenomenon that is now working against him as it is milking his party dry as his MPs are being offered ministerial positions.
It is my humble submission that Mosisili has been the architect of his own downfall. He used to hurt his political opponents and they are coming back to bite him. Nobody ever thought or even dreamt that Mosisili would one day be left by his kinsmen in the form of the Sekatles.

I am calling them his kinsmen because they are his neighbours and they have always stood by him during the rainy days. All the cadres that were in the 1998 cabinet have all left him.
Mosisili has declared his intention to retire from politics. I never thought that this day would be such a gloomy day for him and his party. The once glorious Congress movement is a shadow of its former self.

Now that the time to go home has eventually arrived for Mosisili, I wish he will guide his successor and advise him or her not to make the same mistakes he made during his 21-year tenure at the helm of the Congress movement.

By Kelello Rakolobe

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