BNP polls moved to SA

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

THE venue for the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party’s (BNP) elec­tive con­fer­ence has been changed from the BNP Cen­tre in Maseru to Lady­brand Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Hall in South Africa to en­able ex­iled party leader Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane to at­tend.

Ac­cord­ing to BNP spokesper­son Mache- setsa Mo­fo­mobe the con­fer­ence would be held from 10 to 12 June 2016, with the party choos­ing a new Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC).

Chief ‘Maserib­ane fled Le­sotho on 13 May 2015 claim­ing he had been re­li­ably in­formed some Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) mem­bers were al­legedly plan­ning to kill him. The LDF has since de­nied these claims.

Mr Mo­fo­mobe said Chief ‘Maserib­ane and other NEC mem­bers were un­likely to lose their po­si­tions af­ter most of their chal­lengers left the BNP to form the Demo­cratic Party of Le­sotho (DPL) early this month.

“DPL leader Lim­pho Tau was chal­leng­ing Joang Mo­lapo for the deputy leader po­si­tion, Mal­i­ma­tle Hlalele was chal­leng­ing Dr Nthabiseng Makoae for the chair­per­son po­si­tion, Manama Let­sie for the spokesper­son po­si­tion and Tšepo Monethi was chal­leng­ing Le­so­jane Leuta for the sec­re­tary-gen­eral po­si­tion,” he said.

How­ever, Mr Leuta’s chances of re­tain­ing his po­si­tion hang by a thread af­ter Chief ‘Maserib­ane de­clared last month that the BNP “does not have a sec­re­tary gen­eral”.

Mr Leuta was in­def­i­nitely sus­pended on 26 Fe­bru­ary 2016 for al­legedly sub­mit­ting a Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion list of the party’s Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion al­legedly with­out the author­ity to do so. He suc­cess­fully challenged the sus­pen­sion in the High Court, but re­mains side-lined by the party’s hi­er­ar­chy with Mr Mo­fo­mobe hav­ing set his sights on the SG po­si­tion.

“I am eye­ing the SG po­si­tion even though BNP sup­port­ers have told me to stay in my cur­rent post,” said Mr Mo­fo­mobe.

He said there was “noth­ing new” about BNP mem­bers leav­ing as it was in “the cul­ture” of na­tion­al­ist par­ties to fight for power.

“It is in the cul­ture of na­tion­al­ists to fight over power and es­tab­lish new po­lit­i­cal par­ties prior to elec­tive con­fer­ences,” said Mr Mo­fo­mobe.

“The Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party, led by An­thony Manyeli, was formed dur­ing Chief Le­abua Jonathan’s gov­ern­ment; the Na­tional Pro­gres­sive Party was formed dur­ing Chief Retšelisit­soe Sekho­nyana’s regime and the Ba­sotho Demo­cratic Na­tional Party dur­ing Ma­jor-gen­eral Mets­ing Lekhanya’s regime.

“So the for­ma­tion of DPL did not come as a sur­prise be­cause it has hap­pened with ev­ery BNP leader since the time of the founder of this party.”

Con­tacted for com­ment yes­ter­day, Mr Leuta said he was ap­pre­hen­sive about at­tend­ing the elec­tive con­fer­ence out­side Le­sotho’s bor­ders.

“I re­ally don’t want to go (to the elec­tive con­fer­ence), but for the sake of BNP sup­port­ers, I might be there be­cause I am sup­posed to present the SG’S an­nual re­port,” he said.

“How­ever, I may not con­test for the SG po­si­tion be­cause of per­sonal rea­sons I don’t want to share with the media.”

Mr Leuta has pre­vi­ously claimed he was “re­li­ably in­formed by au­thor­i­ta­tive in­tel­li­gence” of a plot to kill him by his BNP col­leagues out­side Le­sotho. How­ever, Mr Mo­fo­mobe scoffed at the SG’S al­le­ga­tions, say­ing they sug­gested “a des­per­ate man and at­ten­tion-seeker”.

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