‘LCD continues to grow’
Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Acting secretary General Tšeliso Mokhosi has scoffed at suggestions that the party had been severely weakened following the recent departure of senior key members.
The LCD recently lost key members— Keketso Rantšo, Timothy Thahane, Motloheloa Phooko, ‘Mamolula ntabe and Motšelisi Tuoane—who are now leading the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RFC).
however, Mr Mokhosi said the departure would not affect the LCD’S prospects in February’s snap election, adding the development had actually strengthened the party, led by Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.
“The formation of the RCL and Ntate Thahane leaving us to contest the election as an independent candidate, do not do any harm to the LCD at all, as the party is ready for February’s elections. we all saw the launch and elective conference of the RCL; the people there were not even 100, so I don’t see how such a party can be said to be a threat to the LCD or how its formation could have weakened us,” he said.
Mr Mokhosi also dismissed allegations that another party heavyweight, education and Training minister, ‘Makabelo Mosothoane, had left the LCD after falling out with the national executive Committee (nec) and Mr Metsing—the same reason why Labour and employment minister Rantšo, Public service minister Phooko, former energy minister Thahane and the others, had also left.
“Allegations that Mrs Mosothoane also quit the LCD are baseless. what only happened was that she lost primary elections to stand for the party in hlotse constituency, but she is still a member of the LCD,” said.
According to Mr Mokhosi, those claiming the LCD was falling apart were ill-informed and basing themselves on what happened in 2012 when its split led to the formation of the Democratic Congress (DC).
“The LCD was affected then simply because the DC succeeded in taking with it, all the structures of the party. here we are talking about prominent members of the then nec, including party leader Pakalitha Mosisili, youth and women’s leagues and we had to start afresh. But as for the RCL, less than 100 people have left the LCD for that party, which does not affect our prospects in the 28 February 2015 elections at all.
“In-fact, instead of having a leadership crisis, the LCD is growing strong with each passing day because our primary elections are going on smoothly and we will be submitting our list of candidates before the Independent electoral Commission’s deadline of 5 January 2015.
“we are not yet through with the primaries but so far, candidates for 68 of the 80 constituencies have been elected and confirmed by the nec.”
on the other hand, Mr Mokhosi also argued that if indeed the LCD was falling apart, it could not have succeeded in building its own secretariat near ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre.
“The party had failed to develop that site for years but under ntate Metsing’s leadership, that site has since been developed and we are having our own office building there. The LCD now has cars and we can’t honestly say it is drowning,” Mr Mokhosi said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mokhosi told the Lesotho Times that the party’s nec was yet to decide if an elective conference would still take place in January 2015.
“we are currently very busy preparing for the upcoming general elections, so I don’t know if the elective conference would proceed as initially scheduled.”
Lesotho goes to an early election following the dramatic collapse of the coalition government comprising the LCD, All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Basotho national Party (BNP), which came to power for a five-year term in June 2012.
however, sharp differences between Prime Minister and ABC leader Thomas Thabane and Mr Metsing, led to the collapse of the alliance and the snap election.
LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing.