Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

LWP, LPC defy Bloc over no-confidence motion

Bongiwe Zihlangu

The Lesotho Workers’ Party (LWP) and Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) have distanced themselves from a resolution made by the Bloc of Political Parties in Parliament to withdraw from the proposed no-confidence vote in the coalition government.

LWP leader, Macaefa Billy, yesterday told the Sunday Express that for as long as the coalition government, led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, does not express the will to improve the working conditions and secure a minimum monthly wage of M2 020 for textile factory workers, “we will support any movement that promises a better alternative”.

On the other hand, LPC spokesperson, Bokang Ramatšella, said the Bloc was not formed to solely support government, adding being part of the group did not mean “we’re compelled to support the coalition government”.
The two leaders were speaking out following the submission of a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Sephiri Motanyane, in which the Bloc declared support for Dr Thabane’s government.
The letter was submitted three weeks ago and appeared to suggest the Bloc would not be participating further in the proposed “no-confidence-vote”.

The Bloc comprises the LPC, LWP, Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP), Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), National Independent Party (NIP) and Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP).

Speaking to the Sunday Express’ sister paper, the Lesotho Times two weeks ago, NIP leader, Kimetso Mathaba, said the Bloc would never have supported the no-confidence-vote, which was engineered by former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) in March this year.

According to Mr Mathaba, the Bloc pretended to support the proposed motion to gain the attention of the coalition government, which the parties had been voting with in parliament since its formation post the May 2012 poll.

The NIP leader had added the Bloc assigned MFP leader, Moeketse Malebo, to write the letter declaring their commitment to the coalition government, which comprises Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP).

But Mr Ramatšella yesterday dismissed Mr Mathaba’s declaration, insisting his party would have voted for the proposed motion, which they sought to pass after accusing the coalition government of incompetence.
“We agree with those who say this government should be removed now and we will dispose of it, either through parliament or other legal means,” Ramatšella said. “This is to say that the LPC has no confidence in the coalition government.”

The LPC spokesperson added it was not true the LPC only joined the motion “to get government’s attention”.
“We did not want anybody’s recognition because we’re already in existence,” Mr Ramatšella said.

Again, Mr Ramatšella said, the LPC was as “shocked as everybody else” when the letter announcing the Bloc’s commitment to the collation government was read in the august house.
“We knew nothing about the meeting where the resolution was made and were just as shocked when that letter was read in the National Assembly,” Ramatšella said.
“Our standpoint is that the LPC does not support the coalition government at all.”

Mr Ramatšella further accused the coalition administration of not having “clear policies on how to emancipate Basotho from abject hunger and poverty”.
“There are no programmes in place to improve the lives of Basotho, which forms part of the reason why we removed Ntate Mosisili’s government two years ago,” Mr Ramatšella said.
“We used to complain that Mosisili was squandering public funds and giving ministers and MPs high salaries, but this government is worse, hence our stance.”
A more serious grudge that the LPC has against Dr Thabane’s coalition government, Mr Ramatšella said, was what he called the “blatant disrespect and disregard of the LCD as a partner”, adding it was time all congress parties in Lesotho “put their differences aside”.
“The coalition government does not respect the LCD, thus insulting and undermining political parties founded on the congress ideology.
“By undermining and insulting the LCD, it is obvious their intention is to kill the congress ideology in Lesotho.
“For as long as congress parties work with the ABC and BNP, we’re in a crisis.
“We’re at a crossroads as congress parties; we need to do away with our differences and learn to work together as one entity.”

Meanwhile, Mr Billy said although his party was a member of the Bloc “our stance is that we will support any movement that promises M2020 for the textile industry”.
“If the coalition government has decided to turn its back on the promises it made, including securing the improved M2 020 for factory workers (from the current M900), we will vote with any political party that supports our call for improved salaries,” Mr Billy said.
“I did not go to the DC because I was using them like the NIP leader said, no. I went to the DC because they gave the LWP the guarantee that M2 020 would be secured for workers.”
“If the coalition is hell-bent on not securing the M2 020 in question, the LWP will give its vote to any government that promises it, because my responsibility is to fight for the rights and interests of workers.”

The LWP leader said he was also aware that although he could not blackmail the coalition administration into securing the M2 020 immediately, “there should, at least, have been visible efforts made to express their will to improve workers’ lives”.
“For instance, there should have been a roadmap drawn and a target set as indication that gradually, wages would improve until we reach the M2 020,” Mr Billy said.
“But the coalition government is opposed to any move towards drawing a roadmap leading to the realisation of the M2 020 or even more.
“We’re in the dark as to what government intends to do because all the three leaders are not making any effort and won’t create a platform to discuss this issue.”

Comments are closed.