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LCD in-fighting gets dirty

Caswell Tlali

 

MASERU — The internal squabbles rocking the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) have intensified in the wake of allegations that a faction in the ruling party is plotting to unseat Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Selibe Mochoboroane, the LCD youth league’s secretary-general, claims a faction including nine MPs last month held a secretive meeting to hatch a plan to topple Mosisili and the ruling party’s entire leadership.

The damning allegations have come out at a time rival factions in the LCD are fighting for influence in the party’s youth wing.

The youth league is expected to hold its elective conference later this month.

Sources within the party say the battle for the youth league leadership could tilt the scales in the wider battle to succeed Mosisili.

Although Mosisili has not indicated any intention to step down from the helm of the party, sources say there is a fierce battle within the party’s structures to edge him out.

Mochoboroane, in a letter to the LCD’s leadership, claims a meeting to plot the ouster of Mosisili and his executive was held on the night of July 17 at the United Churches Hall in Maseru.

The Sunday Express has a copy of the letter which is written in Sesotho.

In the letter, Mochoboroane implicates nine MPs who he alleges masterminded the “illegal” and “secretive” meeting.

MPs Kose Makoa (Mount Moorosi), Kabelo Mafura (Sebapala), Monyane Mohlomi (Moteetee), ’Mampho Molapo (Butha-Buthe) and Lebamang Maqaleha (Mechachane) were in the meeting, according to Mochoboroane.

Kotiti Diholo (Maletsunyane), ’Mamodidi Marupelo (Thaba-Putsoa), Napo Nalane (Pela-Ts’oeu) and Leeto ’Monahali (Moyeni) are also alleged to have been part of the meeting.

LCD women’s league deputy chairperson ’Maphakiso Moseme, an ex-officio member of the party’s youth wing, was reportedly in the meeting too.

’Malebaka Bulane, the LCD’s candidate for Ha-Maama constituency in the 2007 general elections, was allegedly there as well.

So was the chairperson of Maseru constituency, Chaete Chaete, according to the youth leader.

Mochoboroane said eight members of the youth executive committee that was disbanded in 2009 were also in the meeting.

One of the MPs who Mochoboroane claimed were at the meeting has however dismissed the youth leader’s allegations as untrue.

“I know the procedure of holding party meetings and I do not know anything about the said meeting,” Diholo told the Sunday Express on Friday.

Mochoboroane said a few days before the alleged meeting he had been called by youth leaders from constituencies wanting to know if indeed he had called the meeting.

His letter also accuses the organisers of having misled the youths into believing that the meeting had been organised by the youth league’s leadership.

He said on the night of the meeting he received a call from one of the youths who were at the venue telling him that the meeting had already started.

Mochoboroane said he then drove to the venue together with the youth league’s chairperson, Rorisang Mokoena.

There they found, he alleges, Makoa sitting at the high table and appearing as if he was chairing the meeting.

Mochoboroane said as he and Mokoena entered the hall one of the participants, ’Mamonare Moeletsi from Senqu constituency, “jumped up” and asked them what they were doing in the meeting.

“The youth league secretary answered that the purpose of the youth league delegation was just to make it clear that that meeting had not been called by the youth league committee,” reads Mochoboroane’s letter in part.

“It was also to warn the youth who had attended in the understanding (that the meeting had been organised by the youth committee) and to tell them to go back to their constituencies.”

Mochoboroane said while explaining himself one Molebatseng Makhata, a party member from Abia constituency, stood up and said the agenda was to plan how they were going to topple the national executive and the youth league committees.

“Makhata stood up and said, in fact, their duty for that day was to design how they were going to depose the youth league committee and the executive committee.”

Mochoboroane said the meeting was in open defiance of the party leader Mosisili “who strongly warned against unlawful meetings prior to the holding of by-elections for Hololo, Mpharane and Sebapala constituencies”.

“He also strongly exhorted MPs to guard against going astray once they are in parliament.”

Mochoboroane urged the party to take disciplinary measures against the senior members who allegedly attended the meeting.

“The (youth league) committee has resolved to take this matter to the executive committee for it to direct what should be done in these circumstances and what disciplinary measures should be taken,” he said.

In the meantime, Moseme should “never attend the meetings” of the youth wing “because she has now become part of the people fighting the youth league committee”.

“The youth league committee has written to the executive committee to direct the women’s league to send another representative,” the letter said.

Mochoboroane confirmed he had written the letter.

“I wrote the letter on behalf of the youth league committee,” he told the Sunday Express on Friday.

“We are telling the leadership and the constituencies about our resolutions.”

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