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BNP summons Lekhanya

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — Ousted Basotho National Party (BNP) supremo Metsing Lekhanya (pictured) is in hot water for ridiculing the candidates who have shown interest in replacing him as party leader.

Lekhanya will also be summoned to explain his claims that the party owes him M3 million.

BNP public relations officer, Letlafuoa Molapo, told the Sunday Express the party’s executive committee had resolved to summon Lekhanya to its meeting on Tuesday.

“He was the party leader and we still respect him but how do we go public in respect of the claims he made in newspapers?” Molapo said.

“The executive committee has decided to call him and ask him if he stands by the comments said to be his in the newspapers and we will know what to do thereafter.”

Lekhanya claimed in an article that appeared in the Lesotho Times that the BNP owed him M3 million as he had been financing the party’s many activities ever since he was elected its leader in 1999.

The former military ruler also made the allegations in an interview with Public Eye, another local weekly.

Lekhanya said he lent the money to the party when it was in financial trouble and he has evidence to prove it.

In the interview with the Lesotho Times, Lekhanya said he had sold his two houses and a car to bail out the party.

Molapo however said the executive committee was not aware of such a debt.

“That debt does not appear in any financial statements that were made public at every annual conference,” he said.

“The executive committee perused through the files and found no evidence that Lekhanya ever lent money to the party.”

He said BNP secretary-general Ranthomeng Matete has also not provided the party with any document showing the political organisation entered a loan agreement with Lekhanya.

Party treasurer Sekhohola Molelle does not have any document showing that the party owes Lekhanya, Molapo said.

Molapo also said the executive committee was worried that Lekhanya was lambasting the people who have shown interest in leading the party following his dramatic exit in December.

“He will have to explicitly say whether he stands by the statements he made in newspapers before the executive committee can decide what to do,” he said.

Molapo said the executive committee was even more concerned about how Lekhanya spoke ill of the party leadership when he said the acting president, Thesele ’Maseribane, was after the BNP’s monies.

“We want him to come to us and explain all these claims,” he said.

Molapo said Lekhanya had violated clause six of the BNP constitution which stipulates that a member should not “publicly or even in secret criticise the party”.

Section 10 says a member is expected to “respect the party authorities” and not to “utter statements criticising their decisions”.

Lekhanya, however, told the Sunday Express that he was not going to retract anything he said in the media.

“I am expecting them to summon me and I will prove to them that whatever I said in the media is true,” Lekhanya said.

“I will stand my ground.”

Lekhanya said even before he was booted out senior members of the BNP were already planning “feasts” on the party’s funds.

“The moment it was announced that the revenue collected from the party building would come to us they were already planning a big feast,” he said.

“I am of the strong conviction that they are after that money.

“I tried in vain to advise them to think of better investments for the party but their plans were to use the funds anyhow.”

He reiterated that the party owed him more than M3 million.

This, he said, he can prove.

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