MPS dismiss DC split ‘rumours’
A CLIQUE of Democratic Congress ( DC) Members of Parliament (MPS) is said to be angry with party leader Pakalitha Mosisili over his decision not to appoint them cabinet ministers following his election as premier last month.
The MPS are now allegedly considering forming a splinter party and getting into an alliance with the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and any other party that might be interested in forming a new coalition government.
According to DC sources who spoke anonymously to the Lesotho Times for fear of victimization, the MPS had believed Dr Mosisili’s return as premier guaranteed them ministerial posts since some of them had been in his cabinet before or were members of the opposition’s ‘ shadow cabinet’ in the Eighth Parliament.
However, after failing to win an outright majority in the 28 February 2015 snap elections, the DC formed an alliance with six other parties in order to accumulate the 61-plus seats needed to form a government.
The coalition also agreed to share ministries, which meant some of the DC’S so-called heavyweights could not be accommodated in cabinet. This, according to the DC sources, is where the problem started.
According to the insiders, a number of meetings had already been held by the “disgruntled” MPS to plot their floor-crossing in parliament once the august house opens.
The disgruntlement among the DC MPS, the sources further claim, was the reason for the delay in the re-opening of the Ninth Parliament ostensibly because of fears of the floor-crossing and end of Dr Mosisili’s government.
However, DC Deputy Secretary General, Semano Sekatle, who was also allegedly gunning for a ministerial post but was not so lucky to land one, laughed off the allegations yesterday, insisting the claims were part of a plot to destabilise the party.
“I am not part of any mission to form a new political party and I know there has been wild speculation about that issue, but those are just false accusations,” Mr Sekatle said.
“We decided, as a party, to let new officials takeover ministerial posts so that we avoid what critics have been saying in your newspapers and over radios that we are a party characterized by recycling deadwood. Your newspaper specifically told us that we are deadwood and we decided to listen to the criticism and not to bring old faces back into office.”
Mr Sekatle also strongly dismissed claims that some of the MPS were not happy that some of the ministers picked from the six partners had performed dismally in the election.
“We can’t be unhappy over who makes it to cabinet as it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and he has made a good choice as our party now has brought into office faces people didn’t expect to see,” said Sekatle.
DC Proportional Representation (PR) MP, Refiloe Litjobo, also dismissed claims that there was bitterness among some of the MPS, particularly those who had been members of the opposition ‘shadow cabinet’ in the shortlived Eighth Parliament.
“When our leader was being inaugurated Prime Minister (on 17 March) some of our own people, from within our party, were busy pointing fingers and spreading unfounded allegations that some of us would be forming a splinter party. What is shocking is the fact that this is coming from within our party. We do not necessarily know what could be the exact motive driving this smear-campaign against certain individuals,” said Mr Litjobo.
“This is causing confusion among our members as they were supposed to be focusing on consolidating the party after the elections to ensure we grow as an organisation.”
The party’s publicity secretary, Serialong qoo, also refuted claims that he was amongst the MPS spearheading the formation of a new political party.
DC Deputy Secretary General Semano Sekatle
DC MP Refiloe Litjobo
DC Publicity Secretary Serialong Qoo