Min­is­ter ac­cused of in­sult­ing Mo­sisili

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

The Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) wants party leader Mo­lahlehi Let­lotlo fired as So­cial De­vel­op­ment min­is­ter.

Mr Let­lotlo stands ac­cused of not re­spect­ing the party’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC)’S de­ci­sions since his min­is­te­rial ap­point­ment in March this year, crit­i­cis­ing Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili for “over­stay­ing” in of­fice, em­ploy­ing youths from the main op­po­si­tion All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) in his min­istry in­stead of LPC mem­bers, and in­sult­ing the LPC’S found­ing leader, Ad­vo­cate Kele­bone Maope, among oth­ers.

The NEC has since writ­ten to Dr Mo­sisili ask­ing the pre­mier to re­lieve Mr Let­lotlo of his post as his ap­point­ment was due to his lead­er­ship of the LPC, which gave him the party’s sin­gle Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) seat in the 120-seat Na­tional As­sem­bly af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions.

It was that sin­gle seat which made the LPC part of the new gov­ern­ment along­side the Demo­cratic Congress, Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy, Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party, Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party, and Ba­sotho Congress Party.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter writ­ten to Dr Mo­sisili dated 14 Oc­to­ber and signed by the party’s deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral Maphoma Se­jana­mane, the min­is­ter no longer had the con­fi­dence of the LPC.

Mr Se­jana­mane also re­minds the pre­mier that the gov­ern­ment is a coali­tion of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and not their lead­ers, hence the re­quest to have Mr Let­lotlo sacked be­cause the LPC NEC had lost con­fi­dence in his lead­er­ship.

The LPC ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers have also writ­ten to Mr Let­lotlo point­ing out his al­leged crimes, which they say prompted their de­ci­sion to have him re­moved as So­cial De­vel­op­ment min­is­ter.

The let­ter, also dated 14 Oc­to­ber, and again signed by Mr Se­jana­mane, reads in part: “You re­newed the con­tracts of your of­fice driv­ers who are known youths of the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion con­trary to the NEC’S de­ci­sion to hire youths from within the LPC.

“You also mis­in­formed gov­ern­ment that the LPC had not made a de­ci­sion on who should be the prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary (PS) in the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, yet the party had al­ready said either Mr Se­jana­mane or Mrs Makhu­luoane Makhar­ilele should oc­cupy the post.”

Mr Se­jana­mane notes be­cause of this “mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion”, the min­istry still did not have a PS, prej­u­dic­ing the LPC as a party.

Mr Let­lotlo’s other al­leged trans­gres­sions in­clude his de­ci­sion to “il­le­gally sus­pend party spokesper­son Bokang Ra­matšella and wrong­fully re­place him with ‘Makopano Sek- hobo, con­trary to the NEC de­ci­sion”.

Mr Se­jana­mane’s let­ter to Mr Let­lotlo fur­ther reads: “You were re­cently warned by the NEC to de­sist from bad­mouthing our coali­tion gov­ern­ment part­ners but you have con­tin­ued with state­ments that ac­cuse the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy of tak­ing ad­van­tage of our sup­port­ers in Tšoana-makhulo and Qoal­ing con­stituen­cies.

“You also made in­nu­en­dos at Prime Min­is­ter Mo­sisili, in­di­rectly ac­cus­ing him of over­stay­ing in of­fice when he should be mak­ing way for new blood.

“You have also been la­belling our party’s founder, Ad­vo­cate Maope and spokesper­son Ra­matšella, rebels and call­ing them sell-outs. You ac­cuse them of sell­ing the LPC to the LCD.”

Th­ese ac­tions, the party feels, have brought the LPC’S im­age into dis­re­pute hence the de­ci­sion to have Mr Let­lotlo re­moved from gov­ern­ment.

Mr Let­lotlo has also been ac­cused of di­vid­ing the LPC by uni­lat­er­ally sus­pend­ing its mem­bers.

The last straw, Mr Se­jana­mane writes, was when Mr Let­lotlo “seized the party’s of­fices and changed the door-locks” so that no one else could oc­cupy them, and sus­pended sec­re­tary gen­eral Moipone Piti.

“You wrote a let­ter to the sec­re­tary gen­eral in­form­ing her that the NEC had en­dorsed a let­ter of her sus­pen­sion when it was not true at all. It is for th­ese rea­sons that we have writ­ten to the prime min­is­ter de­mand­ing that you be ex­pelled from of­fice as a min­is­ter,” noted Mr Se­jana­mane in his let­ter.

The LPC is how­ever, not sug­gest­ing a re­place­ment for Mr Let­lotlo or say­ing any­thing about his fate as the leader of the party.

Party sources told the Le­sotho Times the most crit­i­cal part is get­ting Mr Let­lotlo fired from cabi­net and then mo­bilise the LPC’S gen­eral mem­ber­ship to pass a vote-of-no-con­fi­dence in his lead­er­ship.

Con­tacted for com­ment yes­ter­day, Mr Se­jana­mane said he could say any­thing about the let­ters as the mat­ter was “an in­ter­nal is­sue”.

On the other hand, Ms Piti con­firmed the LPC had writ­ten to Dr Mo­sisili but was re­luc­tant to say more.

“We have ne­go­ti­a­tions that are on-go­ing re­gard­ing our leader’s con­duct. We can only con­firm that we wrote to the prime min­is­ter but at the mo­ment, I can­not re­veal what the let­ter was about.

“All I can say is we are mak­ing the prime min­is­ter and our leader aware that the LPC en­tered into the coali­tion gov­ern­ment agree­ment as a party and not an in­di­vid­ual. We are sim­ply say­ing that in­di­vid­ual should be rep­re­sent­ing the LPC and hav­ing the bless­ing of the party,” said Ms Piti.

So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Mo­lahlehi let­lotlo.

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