MASERU — Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) secretary general Mothetjoa Metsing says Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili sold out when he dumped the party to form the Democratic Congress (DC) last week.
Metsing told a press conference on Friday that it was unfair for Mosisili to blame the party’s national executive committee for causing the split.
He spoke out three days after Mosisili addressed his own press conference on Tuesday where he lashed out at the committee accusing it of undemocratic tendencies.
Mosisili told the media that the executive committee refused to listen to the people when it failed to hold a special conference as demanded by constituencies.
But Metsing defended the committee saying it was in fact Mosisili himself who had advised the committee not to hold the conference as it was meant “to strip it of its powers”.
He said Mosisili never objected when the committee defended its position in court adding if Mosisili felt the committee was wrong he should have said so during one of their meetings.
“But he chose to keep mum until he formed the DC last week,” Metsing said.
“Everything that the executive committee did was in collaboration with the leader (Mosisili) and our minutes can prove that nobody had any objection when we did not hold the special conference as demanded by the constituencies.”
Metsing added Mosisili agreed with the committee that the reasons that had been advanced to hold the special conference were not strong enough.
“It came as a surprise to us when our former leader told journalists at a press conference that he left the LCD because the executive committee was undemocratic and it opposed the people,” Metsing said.
He also rejected as baseless Mosisili’s claims that the committee had failed to show him support after a failed plot to assassinate him in April 2009.
Metsing said after the botched assassination attempt it was the committee that issued a circular to all party committees condemning the assassination attempt on Mosisili.
The committee also held a press conference and organised a peaceful march to show their support for Mosisili.
Metsing also said it was a lie that the committee had received a letter from disgruntled party youths who wanted Mosisili to fire government ministers who included Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki.
Moleleki is now the deputy leader of the DC.
But Metsing said the letter that was addressed to Mosisili “was rejected by both Honourable Mosisili and the executive committee because it was not signed and it was regarded as a mere pamphlet picked up in the street”.
He said Mosisili publicly stated he did not honour the letter because he did not know who wrote it.
Metsing said the Mosisili faction had also accused the committee of failing to protect the LCD government from attacks by the party’s elders’ committee chairman Mpho Malie.
Malie, a former trade minister, had objected to the misuse of public funds after he alleged that government ministers had looted the block farming scheme.
He then called for the setting up of a commission of inquiry to investigate the rampant abuse of the scheme after ministers and MPs failed to pay back millions of maloti they had borrowed from the government.
Metsing however said the executive committee, including Mosisili, had agreed that it was not prudent to silence Malie “because he was exercising his right to complain and express his concerns as a citizen”.
“His right as a citizen is inherent in the constitution and to suppress him would be unconstitutional and undemocratic,” Metsing said.
“What was needed was to investigate the allegations not to attack a complainant.”
Metsing also said Mosisili’s allegation that the committee deliberately caused the special conference to fail on January 28 was misleading. Mosisili on Tuesday accused the committee of blocking delegates who opposed their faction during the registration process.
Metsing however said Mosisili had given the nod to the credentials committee that was made up of, among others, Malie, deputy speaker of parliament Sephiri Motanyane, elders’ committee members Moeketsi Sello, Foreign Affairs Minister Mohlabi Tsekoa.
“Everybody in the executive committee was satisfied, including the leader, and we were sure they were mature enough to handle whatever situation they would come across,” he said.
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