Infighting rocks opposition LCD
THE opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has been rocked by infighting pitting secretary general Teboho Sekata against the party leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, and his deputy Tšeliso Mokhosi.
Social media was abuzz with rumours of Mr Sekata’s threats to dump the party because he could no longer stand what he said was the oppressive behaviour of Messrs Metsing and Mokhosi.
Mr Sekata this week acknowledged the infighting within the opposition party but was quick to point that he had changed his mind about leaving the party.
“I am aware of the social media reports and it is true that I had confided in some of the party members that I intended to leave the LCD. But I have had a change of heart and I am not going anywhere,” Mr Sekata told the Sunday Express.
“The leader (Mr Metsing) and his deputy (Mr Mokhosi) are behind all these fights. They want me out as they feel that I am a threat to them.
“My problems started last year in the build up to the party’s electoral conference which was held in December 2019. I successfully contested the post of secretary general.
“Before the elections, Ntate Metsing attempted to dissuade me from contesting saying I should step aside for Mme Mamello Morrison as she had kept the party intact while Ntate Metsing and Ntate Mokhosi were in exile (from 2017 until their return in late 2018).
“Ntate Metsing went as far as campaigning for her (Ms Morrison) but I contested and won.”
Mr Sekata said he next faced opposition when he threw his hat into the ring for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson’s contest which he won against Mr Mokhosi.
“Just like the LCD elections where I outsmarted Mme Morrison, I defeated Ntate Mokhosi for the PAC post and this has caused this uproar in the party. LCD members support me. They have always spoken through their votes and that’s why I garnered 590 votes against the 93 that Mme Morrison got. These numbers speak volumes.
“Again, Ntate Metsing lobbied opposition MPs to vote for Ntate Mokhosi for the post of PAC chairperson. But things didn’t go as he had wanted and I won. So, I can see that they are now on a mission to make my stay in the party as unpleasant as possible.
“I have to consult fellow party members before making any decision on my future. I have to consult them because I derive my mandate from them.
“For now, I am not going anywhere. Anyone who doesn’t like me will have to leave the party not me. I helped found the LCD and I won’t just give up on it like that.
“I am where I am today because of the LCD and I still have dreams which I feel I cannot achieve anywhere else but in this party. I had never had any issues with the party leader but I have always fought with his deputy. Unfortunately, Ntate Metsing has been caught in the crossfire because he has chosen to take sides,” Mr Sekata said.
Messrs Metsing and Mokhosi were not reachable on their mobile phones for comment this week.
However, LCD spokesperson Apesi Ratšele accused Mr Sekata of making “baseless accusations” against Messrs Metsing and Mokhosi “with the aim of bringing the party into disrepute”.
He said Mr Sekata had himself to blame for disregarding party directives not to contest the secretary general’s post as well as the PAC chairpersonship.
“There is nothing tangible that Ntate Sekata has against Mr Mokhosi except that he hates him as a person.
“For the longest time, the party has put up with his (Mr Sekata’s) unacceptable behaviour. It is true that he was dissuaded from contesting the post of secretary general but we accepted things for what they were when he went ahead and contested.
“Again, in June 2020, the LCD caucus made a decision that Mr Mokhosi was going to be its candidate for the PAC post. But Sekata chose to go against that decision because he was promised support by the other opposition party (Alliance of Democrats).
“Mr Metsing had tried to talk him out of it but he refused to listen. Going against the decisions of the party caucus is a punishable offence. But we had so far not acted against him in the interests of ensuring stability and growth of the party. If Ntate Sekata wants to make peace with us our doors are still open but if not, we shall cross that bridge when we get there,” Mr Ratšele said.
He said they would have a caucus meeting next week and only then will they decide what action to take against Mr Sekata.