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In defence of Metsing

SOME Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youths on Friday called for the removal of Mothetjoa Metsing as the party’s secretary general.
They accused Metsing, who is also the communications minister, of “selling out” party leader Pakalitha Mosisili at a meeting he held with former United States ambassador, Robert Nolan.
According to a confidential cable released a fortnight ago, Metsing told Nolan that Mosisili was dictatorial and had sidelined him on party matters.
Metsing is also alleged to have told Nolan that he was concerned with Mosisili’s reluctance to leave office at the end of his current term.
Angered by these revelations, youth league members rallied to the party’s office and demanded that Metsing be relieved of his position.
We fail to understand what this brouhaha is all about.
Metsing was merely telling Nolan what he thought about Mosisili’s leadership style.
He was expressing his views to a diplomat during what he thought was a private meeting.
We are sure many LCD members, including those that are now trying to crucify Metsing, have on different occasions expressed opinions about the party’s leadership.
The expression of an opinion about a leader cannot be considered a transgression.
It must be noted that by protesting against Metsing the youths who rallied at the party offices were simply expressing their opinion about him as a leader.
Should they also be punished for calling the party’s secretary general a “sell out”? Instead of trying to “lynch” Metsing for speaking his mind the LCD youths must encourage the leadership to open the succession debate.
In their overzealousness to defend Mosisili they must remember he is not beyond criticism and he will not lead the LCD forever.
We are sure that there are many people in the party who feel that Mosisili has overstayed in power.
We are sure too that there are many people who feel that Mosisili must give other people a chance to lead the party.
We beleive Metsing speaks for many in the LCD.
Metsing’s “crime” is that he happened to have expressed this opinion to a US diplomat.
Yet we must remember that the conversation was supposed to have remained confidential were it not for Wikileaks, a whistle blowing website, which offloaded the confidential information into the public domain.
What is wrong with a secretary general telling a diplomat that he feels that the party leader is being dictatorial and is marginalising him?
And why should party members be victimised for their perception about the state of the party?
The problem is not what Metsing said but rather that which led him to say it.
Metsing was talking about the LCD succession issue, a discussion the party has tried to stifle for years with ruinous effects.
The succession issue is the reason why this party is so deeply divided that it’s now on the verge of a total split.
The succession issue is the reason why the LCD is facing a real danger of losing the 2012 general elections.
Why then should it continue to be taboo to talk about the party’s succession matters?
The youths who rallied to the party offices must realise that even if they manage to push Metsing out the succession problems will continue to haunt the party unless the leadership allows debate on the issue.
Kicking out Metsing won’t solve the succession problem.
This matter will only be put to rest when Mosisili announces when he intends to leave power and allows people to openly talk about who should take over.
Everyone must feel free to throw their names into the hat without the fear of being seen as a “sell out”.
No one, including Mosisili himself, must be allowed to interfere with that process.

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