MASERU — The Lesotho Congress for Democracy’s national executive committee can still count on the party’s deputy leader Lesao Lehohla to fight in its corner when it faces a hostile special conference early next year.
The committee is currently organising a special conference to deal with dozens of petitions from constituencies that want it disbanded for alleged “insubordination” and “incompetence”.
The special conference, whose date is yet to be decided, will determine whether or not to do away with the committee.
The petitions said apart from party leader Pakalitha Mosisili and his deputy Lehohla the rest of the committee members must be booted out.
But Lehohla this week told the Sunday Express that he will defend the committee at the special conference.
The reason, Lehohla said, was that he believed the committee had been “well together” and he had not noticed “anything untoward”.
Mosisili too has not had problems with the committee, said Lehohla, who is also the deputy prime minister and home affairs minister.
“The motion is curious because by saying the committee is bad they are, by implication, saying that the leader has not been able to deal with the committee itself,” Lehohla said.
“If they say the whole committee should go then we will have to defend it.
“But if they say committee member so and so is the problem and must go then it will be a different issue.
“That will then mean we will have to deal with those specific members.
“The party’s constitution has clear disciplinary process for such cases.”
But even then, Lehohla said, mere accusations will not automatically mean that the member will be disciplined.
“The party will have to look at whether there was any wrongdoing or not,” he said.
“If they say committee member so and so is a thief then the party will have to investigate to verify those allegations.”
Lehohla admitted that some committee members were “uneasy” and “concerned” about the special conference but added that after a meeting on Wednesday they have “come around”.
He said the purpose of the special conference will be “to understand the issues and problems” in the party.
“We must have the special conference so we can talk about these issues and understand where they are coming from,” he said.
Lehohla dismissed speculation that the party was heading towards a split and unverified rumours that Mosisili might be forced to call an early election next year.
He said the ruling party was strong and speculation of a split was just “a figment of those people’s imagination”.
“People are not fighting but merely discussing issues,” Lehohla said.
“They may differ on how things should be done but that doesn’t mean the party is split.
“As far as we are concerned the talk of an imminent split is just talk.
“The party is still intact but if those people who are talking about a split decide to leave the party they will tell us.
“In the meantime we are not perturbed by the talk.”
On speculation that Mosisili might call a snap election, Lehohla said that was unlikely because there was no justification for it.
“We have not lost our majority in parliament and I don’t think it will happen,” he said.
“Remember that we are only a few months from the next election.”