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LCD youth clash with losing candidates


MASERU — A bitter war of words ensued on Tuesday
night in a meeting between the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth
league members and the party’s losing candidates in the May election.

It is understood that confrontation started after
some LCD candidates who lost the May 26 election accused the executive
committee of neglecting them. 
The LCD youth league had called the losing
candidates to discuss their grievances.
This paper has been reliably informed that a closed
meeting held at the Fraser’s Memorial Hall on Tuesday night almost turned into
a brawl when a conflict borne of a difference of opinion between the two
parties erupted.

Highly placed sources in the LCD youth league who
were part of the meeting told the Sunday Express on Wednesday that some
of the candidates who lost in the election accused the
executive committee of abandoning them. 
At the helm of the LCD executive committee are
Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, deputy leader and public service
minister Motloheloa Phooko, secretary general and public works minister Keketso

According to one of the sources, the candidates felt
that since losing elections, the LCD national executive committee had turned
its back on them. 
The source however said the youth members were
irritated by the candidates’ complaint and told them to stop blaming the
executive committee. 

He said youth members accused the candidates of
trying to destabilise the LCD.

“The meeting began to turn sour when some of the May
26 election candidates started to complain, saying they had been abandoned by
the LCD executive committee,” the source said. 
“They claimed that the executive committee could not
care less about their welfare despite that they had devoted time and resources
to campaign for the LCD.”
They also implied, the source added, that the bad
erformance of the LCD at the poll should be blamed on the national executive

“The youth members became angry and warned the
candidates not to continue badmouthing the executive committee,” the source said.
“They were also cautioned not to blame the NEC for
losing elections but instead support the party as it tries to regroup ahead of
the next election.”
LCD candidates who lost elections include, secretary
general Rantšo who went on to become the public works minister after entering
parliament through a PR seat as well as Thabang Pheko, the LCD chairman who
lost the Mohale’s Hoek constituency but secured a PR seat.

Also on the list of losing candidates are Mothibeli
Machesa of Hololo, Sebata Mohau of Motete, Thibeli Khasi of Malibamatšo, Lebula
Silase of Mphosong, Topollo Lephatšoe of Likhoele, Mokoenehi Tekane of Qalabane
and former education deputy minister ’Matanki Mokhabi of Qhoali.

When contacted for comment Rantšo told this paper
that the NEC was not aware of a confrontation between the LCD youth league and
the candidates.

“To my knowledge, there was no confrontation between
LCD youth and the candidates,” Rantšo said.

“If it did happen, the youth leader (Tšoanelo
Ramakeoana) who represents the LCD youth league in the executive would have
notified us, for us to deal with.”
However, Rantšo was quick to add that although the
NEC was not aware of the matter “it could have happened”.

“As soon as we establish that it indeed happened,
we’ll deal with it,” Rantšo said.
Rantšo was also eager to parry allegations that the
NEC “does not care about our national assembly election candidates”.
“It’s far from
the truth that we’ve neglected them. They are our party’s most senior officials
who played a fundamental role when the LCD was going through a difficult time,
especially towards the May 26 election,” Rantšo said.

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