Setipa joins pol­i­tics

…for­mer LNDC boss to stand for LCD in next year’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Le­tuka Chafotsa

FOR­MER le­sotho Na­tional de­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LNDC) boss Joshua Setipa— one of the King­dom’s most prom­i­nent business faces—has de­cided to take the plunge into full­time pol­i­tics and will stand for a par­lia­men­tary seat on a le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) ticket in the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tion.

The po­lit­i­cal ru­mour-mill has been rife with in­for­ma­tion that Mr Setipa had sought to join the demo­cratic Congress (dc) and would seek a par­lia­men­tary seat on for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s party.

In fact, a re­cent re­port dis­patched to me­dia houses by na­tional news agency, LENA, al­leged that Mr Setipa (46) had con­tested dc par­lia­men­tary pri­maries and lost be­fore de­cid­ing to jump onto the LCD band­wagon.

But Mr Setipa has ve­he­mently de­nied this claim.

“I have al­ways been a mem­ber of the lcd and at no stage did I ever seek any dal­liance with the DC. That is pure fab­ri­ca­tion….,” mr Setipa told the Le­sotho Times from In­dia yes­ter­day, where he is trav­el­ling on business.

He was nev­er­the­less non-com­mit­tal on whether or not he would stand for Par­lia­ment on an LCD ticket, only pre­fer­ring to say: “I will is­sue a state­ment about my po­lit­i­cal fu­ture in the LCD when I re­turn home from my trip……..”

How­ever, the Le­sotho Times has also es­tab­lished that mr Setipa never stood in any DC pri­maries but will in­stead, contest LCD pri­maries for the Maseru Cen­tral Con­stituency (Num­ber 32).

DC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral ralechate ‘Mokose also dis­missed in­for­ma­tion that Setipa had con­tested the party’s pri­maries. “We had only three can­di­dates and there was no mr Setipa in our pri­mary elec­tions for Maseru Cen­tral #32 con­stituency.”

On the other hand, LCD act­ing sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Tšeliso Mokhosi, said he was not yet in a po­si­tion to con­firm whether or not mr Setipa was con­test­ing the seat on an LCD ticket.

“The LCD pri­maries are still un­der­way at branch level and I will only be able to com­ment on Mr Setipa’s can­di­da­ture, if he will in­deed stand, when I have re­ceived a re­port from the con­stituen­cies,” said Mr Mokhosi.

But the Le­sotho Times can cat­e­gor­i­cally state that Mr Setipa has en­tered full­time pol­i­tics and will contest lcd pri­maries in the con­stituency where he lives.

In­for­ma­tion that Mr Setipa was seek­ing to rep­re­sent the DC in the snap elec­tion could have been prompted by the fact that he is widely per­ceived to be very close to dr mo­sisili, whose gov­ern­ment ap­pointed him to the LNDC in the first place.

mr Setipa hit news head­lines when he was ini­tially sus­pended from the helm of the LNDC—THE coun­try’s premier trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion showcase—by Prime min­is­ter thomas tha­bane’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment late last year.

This after run­ning the ven­er­a­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion for two years be­gin­ning Jan­uary 2012, after join­ing it from the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) where he had held a se­nior post as an ad­vi­sor to the WTO di­rec­tor-gen­eral.

Both the LNDC and Mr Setipa sub­se­quently an­nounced that they had reached mu­tual con­sent to am­i­ca­bly part ways early this year.

An LCD of­fi­cial who re­fused to be named said Mr Setipa’s can­di­da­ture would be good for both his party and le­sotho in gen­eral.

“It’s good for us to have peo­ple who first cut their teeth in business and re­spectable in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions join­ing full­time pol­i­tics….,” said the of­fi­cial.

“Part of the prob­lem with le­sotho is we are run by ca­reer-politi­cians whose first jobs were in pol­i­tics and have no ex­po­sure to the out­side world. Some would not even have run a tuck-shop be­fore get­ting se­nior posts, re­sult­ing in the mon­u­men­tal in­ep­ti­tude that so of­ten sad­dles this coun­try ……”

For­mer Le­sotho Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion boss Joshua Setipa

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