The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, has sought to mend bridges with disgruntled party youths who protested his now terminated agreement to form a coalition government with the Democratic Congress (DC).
Speaking at a press conference held in Maseru last Thursday during which he announced the cancellation of the pact, Mr Metsing said he had written a letter to DC leader, former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, terminating the agreement that would have led to the unseating of the Thomas Thabane-led coalition government.
The agreement between the LCD and DC was signed on 10 June 2014 at the height of hostilities between the country’s major ruling parties—the LCD and Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC)—threatening to prematurely end the two-year-old coalition government.
When the disgruntled LCD members learned Mr Metsing had signed the deal with the DC, they opened protested against the pact, saying it was not in the best interests of the party.
The LCD members went on accuse Mr Metsing of using the party to shield himself from being probed for alleged corruption by law-enforcement agencies, culminating in the disgruntled members filing an application in the High Court to bar him from implementing the agreement.
On Thursday, Mr Metsing admitted the LCD had rushed into the agreement due to problems the party was facing at the time.
“We had to rush into the agreement to solve problems the country and our party were faced with and did not have time to inform our people about the agreement,” said Mr Metsing.
“It was not wrong for the people to express their concerns.”
The deputy premier said the party was now speaking with one voice following initiatives made to inform the grassroots of why the leadership had taken such a decision to forge an alliance with the DC. The DC, which was launched in February 2012, is a splinter of the LCD.
“A large number of those who were not convinced by the move are now realising we needed to do what we did then,” Mr Metsing said.
He, however, said the agreement had to be revoked and had been terminated in a civil manner as the DC understood the need to stabilise the existing coalition government with the ABC and BNP.
Contacted for comment, one of the ringleaders of the protests against the DC agreement, Teboho Motšeleli, expressed surprise that the deal had been terminated.
Mr Motšeleli said he was not convinced the decision to terminate the agreement was informed by genuine intentions as it came after a regional declaration signed by the coalition government partners in Windhoek, Namibia.
“We wanted him (Mr Metsing) to listen and take into consideration our views as party members and not wait for a regional body to convince him to end the agreement,” Mr Motšeleli said.
He further said the LCD leadership needed to convince party members they were still committed to the coalition government led by Dr Thabane.
“We need guarantees that we won’t see our leadership reneging on the declaration they are making and the stance they are taking of renouncing the agreement with the DC as the latter seemed to be influencing