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‘DC elders fueling youth league factions’



dc youthsLekhetho Ntsukunyane

OUTGOING Democratic Congress Youth League (DCYL) president, Mosala Mojakisane, has taken a swipe at the party’s leaders for fueling factionalism by “interfering in youth issues”.

Mr Mojakisane made the remarks in his final address to over a thousand DCYL stalwarts from across the country and South Africa during the party’s two-day national elective conference at Lesotho High School yesterday.

Twenty six candidates were vying for 13 positions in the league’s national executive, with the results expected to be announced later today. Mr Mojakisane (38) no longer qualifies to contest for a position in the youth league having exceeded the 35-year age limit.

Welcoming DC leader and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili who officially opened the indaba, Mr Mojakisane told the party leaders to refrain from interfering in youth affairs. He said the meddling of the elders, who had come in large numbers to the conference, had brought the league “into disrepute”.

Said Mr Mojakisane: “To the elders, I am appealing to you to refrain from messing with the youth league’s issues. Our constitution is clear that the youths are people between the ages of 15 and 35 years.

“That law was not made by mistake. However, you find old women and men deeply involved in youth issues. When are the youths going to be able to make decisions on their own independently?”

Turning to the youths, he said they should also desist from using the party leaders’ names to buy votes, adding that it had created factions which threatened to destabilise the party.

“I want to tell the youths this today, so that my words will still echo in your minds in the future, that the political route you are taking nowadays is wrong. This issue of you using the names of party elders in your politics should come to a stop,” said Mr Mojakisane.

“You know the right procedure prescribed by the party constitution in the nomination of candidates from the constituencies up to the finalisation of the process at this elective conference where the committee is elected. Stop bringing the elder leaders’ names into disrepute concerning this.

“Stop buying votes using the names of the elders. These are my words of advice to you. I will always be a member of this party and will be watching you. Stop demeaning others. The way you seem to be politicking shows you have completely lost direction. Even the way you behave nowadays shows just how astray your direction is.”

He also took issue with reports of high alcohol consumption among the youths.

“You know very well that we are not allowed by the policies of this party to be drinking alcohol even during the major functions we regularly hold such as musical concerts,” Mr Mojakisane said.

“I urge you to go back to the drawing board my dear colleagues. Let’s go back and re-establish the principles of congress youths on how we should handle issues.

“Each one of you should introspect and find out whether you are still on the right track. I urge you to change your attitude. The way I see it, if you keep doing things the way you do them now, you are leading the youth league into disrepute. Please come back.”

Narrating the highs and lows of his tenure at the helm of the then Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth league in 2010, Mr Mojakisane said it was far from easy.

“We walked a very difficult journey indeed. Hard as we worked, we were a very unfortunate committee because not very long after we were elected the LCD split,” he said.

“After the formation of the DC in 2012, general elections were held and even though we won them, we were not able to form government, or at least be a part of it. However, you can bear witness today that, through the very same committee, a lot has been achieved as we are now government.

“As the outgoing committee, we had also initiated a policy to ensure that birthday celebrations for the DC leader are enshrined in the party constitution. You will remember that when we were still in the LCD, there was a special day named Ntsu’s Day, enshrined in the constitution and therefore binding to the party to honour it.

“The same should be the case with the DC. The leader’s birthday celebrations should be constitutionalised and compulsory. I would be much happier if the next committee can pursue that to a success.”

In his parting remarks Mr Mojakisane said: To the DC youth, you should always have respect for one another and be humble. For eight years now, you have trusted me to lead you.

“Today, as I leave you in the youth cycle, I would like to emphasise that respect and humbleness are important in your lives. You should always respect the leader and leadership of this party. That is how we are going to grow the party.”

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