Leaked Le record­ing re rat­tles ra govt

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli and Billy Ntaote

A LEAKED au­dio clip in which Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) spokesper­son Te­boho Sekata makes dis­parag­ing re­marks about Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili and Demo­cratic Congress (DC) deputy leader Monyane Moleleki has rat­tled the par­ties’ al­liance in govern­ment and threat­ens to scut­tle a mulled elec­tion pact.

In the leaked record­ing, Mr Sekata al­leges the in­fight­ing in the DC had in­ten­si­fied to the ex­tent that Mr Moleleki held sev­eral se­cret meet­ings, pop­u­larly known as ‘linakeli’, with former premier and All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) leader Thomas Tha­bane in Dur­ban, South Africa to iron out an agree­ment for an al­liance to oust the cur­rent seven-party coali­tion govern­ment.

The seven party coali­tion as­sumed power af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tions and con­sists of the DC, LCD, Ba­sotho Congress Party, More­mat­lou Free­dom Party, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy, Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party and Le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress. The DC and LCD are the big­gest par­ties in the al­liance, af­ter amass­ing 47 and 12 seats re­spec­tively, of the 120 par­lia­men­tary seats on of­fer.

Mr Sekata also claims there was a “high pos­si­bil­ity” Dr Mo­sisili would de­fect back to the LCD if the fac­tion­al­ism in the DC con­tin­ued.

“Mo­sisili will cross (to the LCD) with most DC Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment (MPS) while Mokola (Mr Moleleki) will be left with DC Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion MPS who will not make any im­pact,” he says in the record­ing.

“Mokola will, there­fore, be left in a weaker state, while Mo­sisili will help the LCD to be­come stronger and gain more con­stituen­cies.

“Moleleki will end up in the op­po­si­tion. We are happy be­cause Pakalitha is our old man who made a mis­take in join­ing the DC. The peo­ple at the (DC) grass­roots are ready to re­turn to the LCD with Mo­sisili.”

Mr Sekata’s uniden­ti­fied ac­quain­tance echoes the sen­ti­ment, say­ing the DC had “ef­fec­tively split”. How­ever, he did not be­lieve Mr Moleleki would chal­lenge Dr Mo­sisili “be­cause he is afraid to stand on his own”.

How­ever, fol­low­ing the leak of the record­ing, which went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia, LCD Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Se­libe Mo­choboroane apol­o­gised to Dr Mo­sisili, Mr Moleleki and other DC of­fi­cials men­tioned in the clip, say­ing Mr Sekata would face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for his “un­be­com­ing be­hav­iour”.

Part of Mr Mo­choboroane’s state­ment, which was is­sued on Mon­day this week, reads: “To the seven par­ties’ coali­tion govern­ment and Ba­sotho na­tion, the of­fice of the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the LCD is mak­ing this state­ment af­ter be­ing shocked and em­bar­rassed by the state­ment be­ing broad­cast on ra­dios and cir­cu­lated on the in­ter­net.

“The of­fice of the sec­re­tary-gen­eral would like to cat­e­gor­i­cally dis­miss the state­ment by Mr Te­boho Sekata who is a mem­ber of the LCD and our party spokesper­son. The state­ment by Mr Sekata has never been dis­cussed by the party and does not rep­re­sent the views of the party.”

Mr Mo­choboroane, who is also Me­te­o­rol­ogy and En­ergy min­is­ter, also or­dered LCD mem­bers to de­sist from talk­ing to “rab­ble-rousers” bent on caus­ing dis­unity within the rul­ing coali­tion.

“The of­fice also ap­peals to mem­bers of the LCD to stop med­dling in af­fairs that do not con­cern them and be vig­i­lant not to be co­erced by rab­ble-rousers who dis­guise them­selves as friends to LCD mem­bers but with the hid­den in­ten­tion to use their thoughts in a cam­paign to drive a wedge be­tween the coali­tion part­ners. On be­half of the LCD, I apol­o­gise to the leader of the DC, the deputy leader and the Women’s League Pres­i­dent,” he says.

Con­tacted this week, Mr Mo­choboroane said dis­ci­plinary mea­sures would be taken on Mr Sekata. How­ever, he would not be drawn to com­ment on the ef­fect the record­ing had on the DC and LCD’S mulled pact to con­test the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions to be held in Oc­to­ber this year as a unit.

DC Deputy Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Re­filoe Litjobo said no de­ci­sion had been made with re­gards to the pact as far as he was con­cerned.

Mean­while, Mr Sekata yes­ter­day ac­cused ABC mem­ber Ko­bile Ramolula of be­ing the ac­quain­tance he was talk­ing to in the record­ing.

The LCD spokesper­son said they held the dis­cus­sion last week, al­though he was un­aware the con­ver­sa­tion was be­ing recorded.

“I called Ramolula while com­ing from our home area of Se­monkong to tell him the mes­sages his rel­a­tives had sent me with. The con­ver­sa­tion later shifted to pol­i­tics, but it must be clear that I spoke to Ramolula in my per­sonal ca­pac­ity as his friend and not on be­half of the LCD,” he said.

“I was not even aware that our con­ver­sa­tion was recorded be­cause I was speak­ing to a per­son I trusted as a friend de­spite our dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions.”

Asked about the dis­ci­plinary hear­ing he was fac­ing, Mr Sekata said he had only been given some “ad­vice”.

“I had a meet­ing with the LCD NEC yes­ter­day, (Tues­day) but it was not a hear­ing. I was called to be given ad­vice on how I should con­duct my­self to­wards friends and col­leagues,” he said.

“They told me that I should not trust ev­ery­one I speak to be­cause I would com­pro­mise my image as the party’s spokesper­son if I mixed my so­cial life with my po­lit­i­cal life. I ad­mit­ted that I made a wrong de­ci­sion in dis­cussing such is­sues with Ramolula and gladly ac­cepted the ad­vice.”

How­ever, Mr Ramolula flatly de­nied the al­le­ga­tion fol­low­ing en­quiries by the Le­sotho Times, say­ing he was cur­rently in South Africa for “per­sonal” busi­ness and had not con­versed with Mr Sekata “in a long time”.

“That is not my voice in that record­ing. Please lis­ten to it again and com­pare it with my voice and you will un­der­stand that I did not have any con­ver­sa­tion with Sekata. We come from the same area in Se­monkong, and I can con­firm that we know each other and can talk about cer­tain is­sues, but I have not spo­ken to him in a long time.”

For his part, Mr Moleleki said he would not “stoop so low” as to en­ter­tain al­le­ga­tions of lead­ing a fac­tion within the DC.

“I can’t stoop that low, I choose to be silent and fo­cus on build­ing my po­lit­i­cal ca­reer. I have sur­vived in this fra­ter­nity be­cause I act on my po­lit­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and don’t ar­gue or re­spond to un­founded al­le­ga­tions,” he said.

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