MASERU — The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) women’s league will next Sunday march in Maseru to express support for party leader Pakalitha Mosisili.
The march comes amid bitter fights between two rival factions that are said to be seeking to stampede Mosisili out of power.
The fights have provided the sternest test to Mosisili’s 14-year grip on power.
Mosisili is battling to contain the succession tussle that has rocked the party since 2006 but has worsened in recent months.
Party insiders are also worried that the factional fights might weaken the party ahead of the 2012 general election.
Last month the party’s deputy leader, Lesao Lehohla, admitted as much and warned party members to bury the hatchet to start preparing for the elections.
LCD women’s league president, ’Mathabiso Lepono, confirmed the plans in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday.
“We will definitely hold the walk to show Ntate Mosisili support and encourage him to be resilient as the party goes through the motions,” Lepono said.
“We are the ones who elected the leader into power. How can we elect someone and not show him support when times are hard? It is our duty to be there for him.”
Lepono said the march would also address at length the factional problems rocking the party and help “do damage control”.
The LCD has been split into two factions allegedly led by Communications Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki.
However, Metsing and Moleleki have in the past vociferously denied leading any factions.
Lepono said the women’s league will seek to douse the fire threatening to engulf the party.
“As women, it is our duty to hold the sharp end of the knife. We cannot sit by and watch as our beloved party disintegrates right before our eyes,” she said.
At least 26 LCD constituencies last September called for the dissolution of the LCD national executive committee which is alleged to be aligned to Metsing.
The constituencies wanted the entire committee, save for Mosisili and his deputy Lesao Lehohla, dismissed.
But last month the High Court blocked the party’s special conference called to decide the executive committee’s fate.
High Court judge Justice Nthomeng Majara ruled that the special conference was illegal because it sought to dismiss some members of the committee while excluding others.
But in a new twist to the case 17 constituencies earlier in February then filed fresh petitions calling for the dissolution of the entire national executive, this time including Mosisili and Lehohla.
Lepono said it was important for the party to listen to the grievances of the 17 constituencies and call a special conference as had been “requested by the masses”.
“I do not want to sound as though I am against the court for making the ruling it made in the case of the 26 constituencies,” she said.
“But it is imperative for decisions to be made at the behest of the masses. The LCD constitution states clearly that a special conference can be called at the request of no less than 10 constituencies.”
According to Lepono, there was also nothing illegal “about the agenda of the proposed conference”.
Meanwhile, LCD youth league spokesperson Mpaballeng Motjetjepa told this paper that the
youth will also be part of the march “to support our leader”.
“LCD youth are in support of the women’s league’s decision to hold a march of this nature. We are totally behind the committee,” Motjetjepa said.
But sources this week told the Sunday Express that even in the youth and women’s wings of the
party there are some factions that are hostile to the march.