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Mosisili: take charge and steer party out of crisis

TIME is fast running out for the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party to put its house in order before next year’s elections.
Unless something dramatic happens in the next six months the LCD will go into the general elections fractured and weakened by internal fights.
Unfortunately, the two factions at the centre of this chaos don’t seem to realise that by concentrating on winning battles against each other they are eroding the LCD’s chances of remaining in power.
And judging by the events of the past few months it does not seem like they realise that they are shoving the party down a cliff.
There are strong indications that the party might actually be split before the elections although some doubt that either of the factions have the courage to form a splinter party.
We acknowledge that Communications Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki, the two men rumoured to be at the centre of the fights, have denied that they lead either of the factions.
Yet that doesn’t mean that there is no factionalism in the ruling party. Party leader Pakalitha Mosisili has already acknowledged that the LCD has been ravaged by factionalism.
We believe he should do more than just acknowledge the problem if he is serious about holding the party together.
There is no doubt that Mosisili has to take some blame for the near paralysis within the LCD.
The two factions are fighting because they want the party’s leadership, specifically Mosisili’s position.
Mosisili’s reluctance to set the date for his departure and failure to encourage the succession debate seems to have promoted this fierce factionalism.
We also note with concern that there is a perception that Mosisili seems to have failed to rise above the squabbles that have damaged the party.
There are rumours that he is siding with the Moleleki faction and marginalising the Metsing faction, which currently controls the party’s national executive committee.
These allegations might just be rumours but they clearly show that there are some within the party who feel that Mosisili has not been an impartial arbiter in dealing with the crisis.
We also doubt that he has done enough to sort out the mess. We believe that if there is anything that has been missing in this crisis it is a strong leadership.
Mosisili, as the leader, must stop this mess and steer the ship out of the tempest.
To do that he must first show that he is not aligned to either of the two factions.
Thereafter, he must declare when he intends to leave office and open the succession debate.
Instead of viewing those who talk about his exit as a treasonous lot, Mosisili must embrace their views in the spirit of leadership renewal that every political party must go through once in a while.
By keeping mum on his exit and placing the lid firmly on the succession debate Mosisili is only adding to the crisis in his party.
He is allowing people to form camps with narrow agendas and scheme against each other.
The current state of the LCD is a result of these camps and their schemes.
There is no doubt that the chaos in the LCD is affecting its effectiveness as a government.
When ministers and senior government officials spend their time in secretive meetings to further their political agendas they neglect their obligations to the nation.
A divided ruling party cannot be expected to operate smoothly as a government.
If ministers can’t see eye to eye on party matters how then are they supposed to cooperate and coordinate on national policies?
The LCD must realise that even if it manages to win the next elections in its current state it will not be able to function properly as a government unless it addresses the root causes of the factionalism within the party.
There will be more fights and more scheming.

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