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MEC members fight party’s NEC over jobs

Pascalinah Kabi

SOME members of the Selibe Mochoboroane-led Movement for Economic Change (MEC) are up in arms with the party’s national executive committee (NEC), accusing it of nepotism in the recruitment of staffers for the Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Identify and Civil Registration department last year.

While admitting that some party members had raised concerns over the recruitment of staffers, MEC’s deputy spokesperson, Liteboho Kompi, denied any wrong-doing on the part on the part of the party’s NEC.

Ms Kompi said the allegations of impropriety levelled against the NEC were “part of an elaborate propaganda to damage the good image” of the four-year-old party. She said the MEC was never allocated any posts at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

However, party members accuse the NEC of nepotism by ensuring only their relatives were recruited.

They are now demanding answers. They said that Ms Kompi has promised that the NEC members will visit the constituencies to discuss their concerns as soon as restrictions on movement are lifted in Lesotho.

Lesotho is currently under a lockdown which began on 14 January 2021 and is expected to end on 27 January 2021. Inter-district travel has been banned except for essential services such as travelling to access medical services among other measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

The MEC is a junior partner in the governing coalition which is anchored by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu’s Democratic Congress (DC).

MEC leader, Mr Mochoboroane, is Development Planning minister. In terms of the unwritten but widely accepted political rules, a party has power to control appointments and recruitment of staffers in a ministry under its control.

In this instance, the home affairs ministry is controlled by the DC. The DC deputy leader, Motlalentoa Letsosa, is home affairs minister.

The MEC is widely considered a close ally of the DC and according to MEC sources, this resulted in the party being allocated 50 positions to give to its members in the National Identify and Civil Registration department last year.

However, the MEC members allege that selfish NEC members from their party have recruited their relatives including some who are not even card-carrying MEC members to fill the posts.

“At the present moment, the majority of the MEC members at the grassroots level are unhappy with the manner in which the NEC handled the issue of recruiting staffers at Home Affairs,” an MEC member told this publication on condition of anonymity.

“MEC was allocated 50 positions by its partners in government. The NEC came up with a list of MEC members to be posted to the Ministry of Home Affairs and those who were earmarked for the positions were called for a meeting at the MEC offices late last year.  We were shocked to see non-card carrying MEC members who are relatives of some of the NEC members and parliamentarians as well as wives of some youth league leaders appearing on that list,” the source added.

Another source said they were unhappy with the manner in which the NEC was running the affairs of the party. He said although they had raised their concerns in the party’s WhatsApp group, nothing had been done to address their grievances.

“We are unhappy with this and we want things done in a transparent manner. How are we going to sell MEC to the people at the grassroots when we are sidelining others and dishing out jobs to relatives of our leaders? ‘M’e Kompi may have apologised in our WhatsApp group and pleaded with us to stop fighting but the fact of the matter remains, we are unhappy with the manner in which the deployment of staffers to home affairs was handled.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Ms Kompi admitted that some party members have registered their concerns over a host of issues which she says the party will address as soon as free movement is allowed.

She however, denied apologising over the recruitment of staffers to home affairs, saying the party had not been offered any posts in the ministry to begin with.

“It is true that there are issues which need to be addressed but I didn’t apologise over allegations that the NEC dished out jobs to people because there were never any such jobs for us to allocate in the first place. I only apologised after members accused the NEC of being silent and not communicating with them over a host of issues. I then told them that we apologise for everything and that the NEC was ready to go to the constituencies and address their grievances as soon as free movement is allowed.

“The MEC was never allocated positions at the Ministry of Home Affairs and therefore we never had a meeting over the non-existent jobs. We are a responsible NEC. If there any NEC members who have been employed at Home Affairs, they got the jobs fairly as Basotho children who applied for those jobs,” Ms Kompi said.

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