Liru­rubele vs Lithope: The best way out

Lesotho Times - - Scrutator -

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.

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