Setipa ad­mits ‘short-lived’ DC mem­ber­ship

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

LE­SOTHO Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) can­di­date for Maseru con­stituency in next month’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, Joshua Setipa, yes­ter­day ad­mit­ted he was once a mem­ber of the Demo­cratic Congress (DC).

How­ever, Mr Setipa — who had de­nied any pre­vi­ous as­so­ci­a­tion with the DC dur­ing sev­eral in­ter­views with the me­dia, in­clud­ing the Le­sotho Times — in­sisted his mem­ber­ship was very short-lived and also took ex­cep­tion to the me­dia’s “ob­ses­sion” with “con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion” which he be­lieves was de­lib­er­ately leaked by the DC to tar­nish his repu- tho Congress Party (BCP) and Ba­sotho Batho Demo­cratic Congress (BBDP), out­lin­ing their plans for “a coali­tion gov­ern­ment formed ex­clu­sively by congress par­ties”.

How­ever, Dr Mo­sisili said the LCD had jus­ti­fied its stance, say­ing if they were to vote in that fash­ion, the party would lose out on Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) seats.

“The LCD lead­ers said if we were to vote that way, their party would not ob­tain as many PR seats as it did in the last elec­tions,” tation.

The Le­sotho Times is in pos­ses­sion of a copy of Mr Setipa’s DC reg­is­tra­tion form dated 27 Novem­ber 2013, which he how­ever, said should not have been made pub­lic as it was “con­fi­den­tial”.

Ac­cord­ing to the form, Mr Setipa reg­is­tered with the DC in his home con­stituency of Se­mena in Thaba-tseka district.

“I have noth­ing to hide, and can­not al­low my­self to be dis­tracted by cheap po­lit­i­cal Dr Mo­sisili said.

“They were adamant that to en­sure the LCD se­cured many PR seats, the party should cam­paign and vote alone.”

At the 26 May 2012 poll, the LCD won 12 con­stituen­cies and went on to ac­quire a fur­ther 14 PR seats, bring­ing its to­tal num­ber in the Na­tional As­sem­bly to 26, while the DC won 41 con­stituen­cies and seven PR seats.

The ABC, on the other hand, won 26 con­stituen­cies and four PR seats. stunts. I am fo­cus­ing on win­ning the elec­tions come 28 Fe­bru­ary, and will not be both­ered by all sorts of al­le­ga­tions be­ing made through the me­dia.

“I was only a mem­ber of the DC for a few months. I think my DC mem­ber­ship lasted about three months,” said Mr Setipa, who rose to na­tional promi­nence when he was ap­pointed Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Le­sotho Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LNDC) in Jan­uary 2012.

Mr Setipa, who has since left the LNDC, fur­ther said what should be cause for con­cern to the DC was how such con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion “ended up in the hands of a jour­nal­ist and on so­cial net­works”.

“That is what should con­cern the DC; the party should in­ves­ti­gate how in­ter­nal party in­for­ma­tion is be­ing leaked to the me­dia and noth­ing else. That should surely be a prob­lem and not my be­ing an LCD can­di­date.

“If the DC is com­plain­ing about my rep­re­sent­ing the LCD in the up­com­ing (par­lia­men­tary)elec­tions, the party knows the chan­nels to fol­low to voice those con­cerns. How­ever, I would be con­cerned if the com­plaints were from my party, the LCD.

“But like I said, my main fo­cus is the elec­tion and win­ning the Maseru con­stituency for the LCD and noth­ing else.

“Again, I ex­pect Ba­sotho to be fo­cus­ing on cru­cial de­vel­op­ment is­sues and not be swayed by ru­mour­mon­gers.”

Mean­while, DC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Ralechate ‘Mokose, yes­ter­day said it had come as a sur­prise that a “DC mem­ber” was now an LCD elec­tion can­di­date.

“We were shocked to see that Mr Setipa was a can­di­date of the LCD, as we had known him to be a DC mem­ber. How­ever, we can­not con­tinue to ar­gue about it, suf­fice to say the doc­u­ment you have proves that he has not been telling the truth about never hav­ing been a mem­ber of our party,” said Mr ‘Mokose.

For­mer LNDC boss Joshua Setipa.

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