MASERU — The leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy Pakalitha Mosisili is expected to announce the launch of a new party after meeting constituency officials next Sunday, the Sunday Express heard this week.
Mosisili tasked the officials to solicit the people’s views from the constituencies and report back to him about the way forward following an aborted special conference last month.
Sources said the move was meant to pave way for the launch of a splinter party following Mosisili’s acrimonious fallout with members of his party’s national executive committee.
The sources said Mosisili, who is also the prime minister, will likely meet the officials from all the country’s 80 constituencies next weekend.
The source, who is an MP from the pro-Mosisili faction within the ruling party, said the officials will have a closed meeting with Mosisili next Saturday.
“Constituency officials and MPs from all 80 constituencies will attend the meeting in which they will tell Ntate Mosisili that he has been given the go-ahead by constituencies to defect from the LCD and form a new party,” the MP said.
He said several constituencies had already written to Mosisili giving him the mandate to form a new party.
The Sunday Express understands that last weekend all LCD constituencies held nationwide conferences to decide whether or not to defect with Mosisili.
Among the constituencies that have so far endorsed the move are Mosisili’s Tsoelike, Qacha’s Nek, Lebakeng, Machache, Kolonyama, Leribe, Thaba-Putsoa, Sebapala, Mt Moorosi, Likhoele, Mashai, Maseru, Semena, Mphosong, Tele, Hloahloeng and Qeme.
Malingoaneng, Thaba-Phechela, Qhalasi, ‘Maliepetsane, Makhaleng, Hlotse, Thaba-Moea, Thaba-Bosiu, Lithabaneng, Matlakeng, Koro-Koro, Khubetsoana, ’Maletsunyane and Qoaling had also endorsed the decision to split.
The LCD on January 28 failed to hold a special conference that had been ordered by the Court of Appeal.
A day later Mosisili convened an impromptu rally at ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre where he lambasted the party’s national executive committee, accusing it of sabotaging the indaba.
The executive committee is made up of individuals who are said to be loyal to secretary general Mothetjoa Metsing.
Metsing is locked in a fierce power struggle with a rival faction headed by Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki.
Mosisili is said to have a soft spot for the Moleleki faction.
The source said the idea to form a new party was Mosisili’s adding it had been in the works for a long time.
“He has always known that a time would come when he had to cut ties with the LCD because the people he trusted turned out to be his enemies,” he said.
Another LCD official who spoke to the Sunday Express this week confirmed plans to set up a new party were at an advanced stage.
He said among those being tipped to hold senior posts in the new party were Moleleki as deputy leader, agriculture minister Ralechate ’Mokose (secretary general), public works and transport minister Semano Sekatle (deputy secretary general), forestry minister Kabelo Mafura (treasurer) and Mashai constituency MP Ts’oeu Mokeretla (public relations officer).
Contacted for comment on Friday, Sekatle denied any knowledge of the new party.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Sekatle said.
’Mokose refused to comment when contacted on Friday.
“I’ve never heard of it before. Maybe I was nominated without my knowledge. Where did you get this information? Who told you this?” ‘Mokose asked.
Probed further about the nomination of Moleleki, Mafura and Mokeretla, ’Mokose said: “I don’t know about that either”.
“But we shall see,” ‘Mokose said.
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