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LCD constituencies mull legal route

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Seventeen Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) constituencies that in February called for a special conference to unseat the party’s national executive committee, have threatened to haul the committee to court to force it to hold the indaba.

The constituencies last week directed their legal representative Advocate Kananelo Mosito to write to the LCD executive committee demanding to know when the party will call the special conference.

In the letter dated April 13, Mosito gave the LCD national executive committee up to last Tuesday to issue a clear response on the matter saying failure to do so would leave the constituencies with no option but to approach the High Court to force the committee’s hand.

But by Thursday the LCD national executive had not responded to Mosito’s request choosing instead to release a circular complaining to the party faithful of plans by the constituencies to drag it to court.

The circular, which was seen by the Sunday Express, said the 17 constituencies were planning to seek the intervention of the courts to force the executive committee to call the special conference.

Among the 17 constituencies that are pushing for the conference are Kolonyama, Lebakeng, Mechachane, Maseru, Matlakeng, Mohobollo, Motete, ‘Maliepetsane, Mosalemane, ‘Maletsunyane, Tele, Sebapala, Semena, Qoaling, Teya-Teyaneng and Thaba-Putsoa.

When contacted for comment on Thursday, LCD deputy leader Lesao Lehohla said the executive committee was “in the process of issuing a response to Mosito”.

He however said he was not aware that the constituencies were planning to drag the committee to court if their demand is not met.

“I am not aware that they are planning to go that far. They must be patient because what I know is that the executive committee is in the process of issuing a response,” Lehohla said.

“But the response will not be any different from the one issued to the 26 constituencies because what they are asking for is more or less the same.”

But LCD women’s league president ‘Mathabiso Lepono, who has in recent weeks been vocal about the need to call the special conference, appeared lukewarm to plans to drag the committee to court.

Lepono referred to the “letter of guidance” issued to LCD members last week by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili urging warring factions to reconcile to save the embattled party.

Mosisili made the remarks at a march that was organised last Sunday in his solidarity.

“In his letter of guidance, our leader (Mosisili) was clear about the need to reconcile and strive towards unity. He was very clear as he tried to reach out to all LCD members,” Lepono said.

But insiders within the LCD said there were plans to forge ahead with plans to seek a court order compelling the committee to hold the special conference.

“Don’t be surprised if on Tuesday there’s a court order instructing the executive committee to hold the special conference,” a source who refused to be named told this paper.

The 17 constituencies form part of the 26 who last September said they had lost confidence in the LCD executive committee.

The constituencies wanted all committee members, save for Mosisili and Lehohla. The constituencies accused the committee of incompetence and insubordination.

But sources in the LCD say the call to disband the committee is only a reflection of a fierce power struggle between two factions vying to succeed Mosisili.

The factions are allegedly headed by Communications Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki.

Metsing and Moleleki have in the past vociferously denied leading any factions.

The Sunday Express understands that the LCD is now planning to hold a conference in May to promote reconciliation and healing within the party.

The party is however said to be still haggling over the agenda with other members still demanding a special conference.

“Some members are saying the committee should honour the request by the 17 constituencies for a special conference instead of holding a reconciliation conference,” the source said.

The High Court in March ruled that a special conference that had been set for March 19 and 20 was unconstitutional because it sought to fire some members of the committee while saving others.

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