Lirurubele vs Lithope: The best way out
WHAT a tumultuous week it has been. Mokola fires or suspends Size Two aka Pink Panther from the leadership of the Democratic Congress (DC). Then, the next day Size Two fires or suspends Mokola from the deputy leadership of the DC. Or at least expresses the intention to do so. You could also describe it this way; Lirurubele fires Lithope from the DC.
Then the following day, Lithope fires Lirurubele. An even more fitting description is; Ntate Moleleki effectively fires Ntate Mosisili (an old Comrade) from the DC. The next day Ntate Mosisili fires Ntate Moleleki (an old Comrade), even though the Prime Minister’s decision will be solemnised at his “special conference” next month.
You can be rest assured that Ntate Moleleki and the rest of the DC will disregard that “special conference” and insist via a proxy that Ntate Mosisili has no authority to convene one since he is no longer leader of the DC.
What’s happening here? Who is exactly firing who? Call it a circus if you may. But it is not. It is a monumental tragedy. Never in the history of this country, or perhaps elsewhere in the world, have we ever had a sitting Prime Minister being (purportedly) suspended from his ruling party and yet retaining his Prime Ministership.
This battle for the control of the DC is evolving into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It’s getting nasty. And it’s going to turn even more nasty? If this was any other ordinary time, I would have invited all and sundry, who are affiliated to neither Lirurubele nor Lithope, to get your full loads of pop-corn and join me in the front row seat to enjoy this movie. But this is no ordinary time in the history of Lesotho.
We are in the midst of serious economic vicissitudes and the implosion of the DC, the lead party in the Pink Panther and Pals coalition, hardly becomes a laughing matter.
My gut feel is that as this battle escalates, it will end up in the courts. Not least because we Basotho are a litigious lot. And while the girlfriends and butterflies battle it out in the courts for supremacy, expect the business of government to grind to a screeching halt.
You cannot have the leader and his deputy in a ruling party at each other’s throats and expect that it will be business as usual. It won’t. This why I am very afraid. This is why I won’t leave this subject.
For the sake of this country, there is only one way out. Lirurubele and Lithope must go separate ways. And they must do it now. When I wrote about these factions last week, I had not expected the situation to deteriorate to the extent that it has. In light of what has happened in the last week, one needs to have a brain the size of a pea or an ant to ever imagine that Lirurubele and Lithope can ever reunite into one coherent DC.
They won’t. They will never despite George Washington’s perennial wisdom that in politics, there are no permanent friends or en- emies.
Rather than continue throwing mud at each other and sluggingit out in the courts, much to the detriment of the Kingdom and the national interest, Scrutator demands that Lirurubele and Lithope admit that they have reached the proverbial point of no return. Their best course of action is to split, shake hands and evolve into two distinct political formations.
That should surely not be a problem in light of the fact that Basotho are world renowned specialists (gold medallists) in forming political parties. I know of no other country where a new political party is formed every day, or where after immediately getting married, a boyfriend and girlfriend think the best course of action is to form a political party. Before they even plan a first child.
But the stakes here are very high. And Lirurubele and Lithope wont simply give each other way. Each faction would want to control the DC, and by implication continue in government.
Therein lies the problem. Even though Ntate Moleleki seems to enjoy the support of most of the national executive committee and its senior leadership, including the secretary general, his deputy, the youth league etc, Lirurubele and Lithope are evenly split.
The factions seem to share the party’s MPS half, half. So my proposal for the dissolution of the DC in favour of the evolution of two new distinct political parties will be hard to achieve, even though it remains the best, fastest, most exciting way out.
It would even be better if the two new parties retained the words Lirurubele and Lithope in their new names. Just imagine this; Lirurubele Congress Movement (LCM) or Lithope Democratic Party (LDP)
Since the amicable separation of ways to form the LCM and LDP appears increasingly difficult, I reiterate that the next best option will be for Ntate Mosisili to simply jettison the DC and form a new party and save this country from a traumatic long drawn battle for the soul of the DC.
Let history repeat itself. In light of the fact that Ntate Mosisili has been prolific and highly successful in leading the formation of splinter parties, this might be the best option to both serve this country and his own political career, now in its twilight years. Ntate Mosisili’s party, which I still suggest be called Lithope Democratic Party ( LDP), can then forge an alliance with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and form one mighty political giant.
Imagine a battle between the new LDP and LDC on one hand and the Moleleki led DC and Ntate Motsoahae’s ABC on the other.
There can be no better battle of the titans. This might as well be the only way to ensure the end of dysfunctional Pink Panther and Pals or Tom and Jerry coalitions in future.
I have argued previously about my revulsion of the ubiquitousness of our political parties. Having fewer political giants might be the best way of ending our frivolous political landscape and ridding ourselves of the likes of the Ramatsellas and other political riff-raff with their uncle/nephew little parties.
Another alternative will be for Ntate Mosisili to simply walk Lithope into the LCD and join forces with old foe Metsing into one big party as has been rumoured on social media. The challenge then would be, who becomes leader? Will Ntate Marshmallow be humble enough to pave way for Ntate Mosisili his elder.
It may not be that difficult . Ntate Mosisili might simply be christened the chairman of the LCD while Ntate Metsing is called President. Considering his penchant for the deputyprime ministership, there should be no problem achieving a deal between bontate Metsing and Mosisili. Ntate Mosisili can still be PM within the LCD matrix.
Iam exploring all these options because I really worry for the future. A long drawn out DC battle is not good for the country. Moreso if Donald Trump decides to boot us out of AGOA. We will then need time away from politics to think the economy and how we can uplift ourselves as a nation, something very few Basotho seem to care about. Without AGOA, it will then become necessary.
Ntate Mosisili is the best man to save us out of a protracted DC battle by simply walking away from the party he founded.
He has done it before. Why not again. Moreover he will have the advantage of incumbency at government level, the announcement by Lirurubele that the DC is no longer in the coalition notwithstanding. His walking away may inevitably lead us into new elections.
If that is the only way out, so be it. The more a country goes to the polls and the more its governments change, the more the democracy in that country.
We need more democracy. So got for it Ntate. When your party, (or a significant portion of it) loses faith in you as leader, the best way to re-assert yourself is by seeking a fresh mandate. If you return as leader, you will be powerful to do just about anything.
My critics, and they are many, will argue that I am trying to bait Ntate Mosisili to destroy his career because once he leaves the DC he is politically dead. They will accuse me of being a Lirurubele. Nothing is further from the truth. I have repeatedly stated that I am not a factionalist. Somewhere between Lirurubele and Lithope, I sit in the middle. I am completely neutral. I simply suggest that Ntate Mosisili walk away from the DC because that is the most erudite, peaceful, scholarly and politically astute thing to do. After all, Ntate Mosisili has been a shrewd political operator.
Have you ever wondered why Ntate Moleleki started his coup de tat against Ntate Mosisili so carefully in a slow and measured way. Ntate Moleleki knows that Ntate Mosisili is popular in the rural areas with less urbane Basotho.
If Ntate Moleleki were to dethrone Ntate Mosisili in a fascist and humiliating way, he knows how difficult it would be to retain the mountain folks in the DC. That explains Ntate Moleleki’s less radical coup approach, at least in the beginning even though the course has now changed.
So I remain convinced that Ntate Mosisili would be more adept at forming a new political party and making a success of it, leaving no blood on the floor.
And if the truth be told, I remain convinced that the odds within the DC are staked against Ntate Mosisili.
It seems Ntate Moleleki has the upper hand in terms of numbers with the secretary-general, his deputy, the youth league leader, among others, all behind the bearded one.
That does not of course mean that Ntate Moleleki has the advantage when it comes to ordinary rural voters. Or other unschooled folks who remain firmly behind Ntate Mosisili.
The landscape thus favours Ntate Mosisili succeeding with a new party and walking away from the DC and its Lirurubele with his shoulders held high, and higher. Then making a comeback, after any new fresh elections, and then retiring whenever he wants without Lirurubele being a pain in the butt. So once again, I exhort you Ntate Mosisili. Go for it.
DC leader Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki.