DC expels Sekatle
THE main opposition Democratic Congress party says its legislator of the Qacha’s Nek, ‘Matumelo Sekatle, has automatically expelled herself from the party by siding with legislators from the governing coalition during a recent parliamentary vote on the time that should be allocated to the parliamentary portfolio committees to scrutinise the 2019/20 budget estimations.
Dr Sekatle, whose husband, Semano Sekatle, defected to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), voted with the governing bloc MPs at the during the presentation of the 2019/20 budget by Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro on 12 March 2019.
She voted in support of the with the governing bloc to pass a motion that allowed the parliamentary portfolio committees five days to scrutinise the 2019/20 budget estimates. This was contrary to the opposition’s position which was that the five days should be rejected on the grounds that they were not sufficient for the portfolio committees to fully scrutinise the budget.
The motion was put to vote after the Deputy Leader of the DC, Motlalentoa Letsosa, had argued that the time allocated to the portfolio committees to scrutinise the budget estimates was insufficient.
The motion had been proposed by the Leader of the House and Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki and Dr Sekatle voted with the government side.
DC spokesperson Serialong Qoo recently told the Sunday Express that the Qacha’s Nek legislator went against her party and she was fully aware of the consequences of her actions which meant her automatic expulsion from the opposition party.
“She (Dr Sekatle) knows very well that she ceased to be a member and legislator of the DC from that day (12 March), Mr Qoo said, adding, “She is no longer welcome to attend any caucuses, meetings and conferences of the party”.
“The DC met ahead of the parliamentary sitting where it was decided that we should vote against the motion to allocate only five days to portfolio committees to scrutinise the budget estimates. The Qacha’s Nek legislator went against the decisions of the party knowing fully well that the DC constitution and those of the congress parties state that anyone member of parliament who votes against the decisions of their parties automatically expel themselves from the party.”
Mr Qoo said Dr Sekatle had in fact stopped attending DC meetings, rallies and conferences immediately after resigning from her position as the party’s Women’s League President last December.
This was the same time that her husband, former DC secretary general Semano Sekatle dumped the party to join the ABC. Mr Sekatle was immediately rewarded by Dr Thabane with an appointment as the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture.
Mr Qoo said since her December 2018 resignation from the DC’s Women’s League, Dr Sekatle had not bothered party events including the party’s rally three weeks ago in Qacha’s Nek as well the caucuses that the DC holds on Thursdays at the National Assembly buildings.
“We went to her constituency some time ago and we learnt that she officially announced in closed constituency meeting that they were seeing her for the last time,” Mr Qoo said.
Asked if the party had been officially communicated its position to Dr Sekatle that she had ceased to be a member of the party, Mr Qoo said, “she knows very well that she ceased to be a member of the DC the minute she voted against the party and we can only write to her if we have time”.
Mr Qoo said Dr Sekatle had hoped that even after her husband’s defection, the former Minister of Local Government and Chieftaincy would still vote with the party “which stood with her family for many years”.
“She (Dr Sekatle) knows very well that all these years we were insulted for standing with her family. We stood with her family against all odds. When the ABC was formed (in 2006), one of the complaints was that my retired leader (former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili) gave only one (Sekatle) family a monopoly of being ministers.
“Even though he argued that the two of them (Mr and Dr Sekatle) were from the different constituencies of Lebakeng and Qacha’s Nek and that ministerial posts were awarded on the basis of individual capabilities, people moaned and insulted Ntate Mosisili because of this family.
“We thought she would stand by the DC despite her husband’s defection,” Mr Qoo said.
Efforts to get a comment from Dr Sekatle proved fruitless as her mobile phone rang unanswered. She also did not respond to questions sent to her via WhatsApp and Short Message Service (SMS).
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