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Infighting rocks RCL

’Marafaele Mohloboli

INDISCIPLINE has reared its ugly head in the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) with some party members openly flouting party procedures and choosing to air their concerns through the social media.

The youth league committee has therefore called calm and stability, saying the vilification of the party leader, Keketso Rantšo, was counter-productive.

Ms Rantšo has been accused of dictatorial tendencies by some party members including the party’s secretary-general, ’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie.

Ms Rantšo has responded by writing to Ms Lemphane-Letsie asking her to “show cause” why she should not be suspended from the party.

According to the chairperson of the youth league, Retšelisitsoe Lesane, there are members who are rocking the RCL boat, causing instability and tainting the image of the party. Some of these members have taken the fight to the public domain through various media platforms.

“We are calling on all those who are causing restlessness within the party to desist from their divisive actions. All we want is working towards growing the party,” said Mr Lesane.

In its recent statement which was presented to this publication, the youth league says it has noted with concern that the party’s secretary-general ’Machabana Lemphane-Letsie, has not responded to a letter written to her by the RCL leader Ms Rantšo on 24 January 2018 asking that she “show cause” why she cannot be suspended from the party.

“The fact that the letter ought to have been responded to within seven days but has not, is a clear sign of continuous contemptuous behavior and vilification towards the leader,” reads part of the statement.

The committee says it has learnt with dismay that some party officials have taken to social media to air the party’s dirty linen.

Further to this, the youth league committee said it was deeply concerned about the insults hurled towards the RCL leader by the party treasurer, Bataung Thulo, on social media.

“We have noted with shock how the treasurer has been insulting and denigrating our leader instead of being exemplary to all other members, by virtue of his position. We therefore appeal to the treasurer to immediately retract all those false postings as they are tainting the image of the party.”

Ms Lemphane-Letsie, who is also the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, is also accused by some of the committee members for sowing discontent among other members by offering them jobs at the ministry.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Express has since learnt that Ms Lemphane-Letsie has shown an intention to institute a defamation legal claim of M100 000 against RCL youth league’s leader, Mr Lesane.

The Home Affairs PS alleges Mr Lesane accused her of soliciting bribes from people seeking employment at the ministry.

Ms Lemphane-Letsie is also accused of conniving with the treasurer in acts aiming to undermine the RCL leader.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Efforts to get a comment from Ms Lempane-Letsie were fruitless.

For his part, Mr Thulo denied ever denigrating Ms Rantšo.

“The only thing that I did was to say that our leader has a serious problem of not seeing things the way they should be.

“I only said this because instead of waiting for the courts to intervene, she is still writing letters to members,” Mr Thulo said.

In response, Ms Rantšo told this publication said while she believed in democracy and freedom of expression, party members should observe the proper communication procedures whenever they had issues to bring to the attention of the leadership.

“I believe as people and as Basotho, we need to respect each other. Discipline is also very important because it reminds us that as people, there is a certain way we are expected to behave if we are to live in peace with others.

“It is also important that when we realise that we are off-track as a party, we should work towards finding each other again. Conflicts are part of life but they should also facilitate finding each other and peace.”

She said a female leader, peace was very important to her, adding that she could only become a better leader by listening to her colleagues in the party, that is if they bring issues to her attention through set channels.

“We are a political party with structures, and we need to utilize channels set to ensure sustainability and proper functioning of the party. Therefore, I would like to call on all party members not to forget what binds us, what brought us together in the first place. I have no favourites and I do not have members I do not like either.

“All I want is for the party to focus on contributing to making Lesotho better, particularly looking at the challenges we are currently facing as a nation. The RCL is not my party alone. It is for us all and instead of pointing fingers at each other, let us all rise above petty issues and get down to work,” Ms Rantšo said.

The RCL is one of the four parties in the governing coalition along with the Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention, Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki’s Alliance of Democrats and the Basotho National Party.

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