10 DC MPS headed for ad?

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

TEN Demo­cratic Congress (DC) leg­is­la­tors are hold­ing talks with the Al­liance of Democrats (AD) on the terms for their de­fec­tion to the gov­ern­ing party; a de­vel­op­ment that would have seis­mic im­pli­ca­tions for the po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Le­sotho.

This is ac­cord­ing to AD deputy spokesper­son, Matšana Masip­hole, who also told the Le­sotho Times that the talks were yet to be fi­nalised.

“We have such a mat­ter on our table but it’s still quite pre­ma­ture to dis­cuss the de­tails as we have agreed to keep it dis­creet un­til such time when it’s well sea­soned. When such a time comes, the public will be in­formed of such a de­vel­op­ment,” Mr Masip­hole said.

How­ever, DC spokesper­son Se­ri­a­long Qoo has strongly re­futed the claim, say­ing it was mere pro- pa­ganda.

Spec­u­la­tion has also been rife on so­cial me­dia that the talks are in­deed on­go­ing. The pre­vail­ing view is that a fac­tion of the DC’S old guard was miffed by party leader Pakalitha Mo­sisili’s hand­pick­ing of Mathi­beli Mokhothu as his deputy to re­place now AD leader Monyane Moleleki.

Mr Moleleki, who is also deputy prime min­is­ter in the gov­ern­ing four party al­liance, left the DC to form the AD in Novem­ber last year after fall­ing out with Dr Mo­sisili who was premier at the time.

The DC mem­bers said to be in dis­cus­sions with the AD in­clude spokesper­son Se­ri­a­long Qoo, Chair­per­son Mot­la­len­toa Let­sosa, Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Se­mano Seka- tle, Women’s League boss Pon­tšo Seka­tle, Likeleli Tam­pane, Ntl­hoi Mot­samai, Ma­hooana Khati, Phutuh­elo Mafer­eka, Lethu­sang Kompi and Mo­hau Hlalele.

One DC mem­ber who spoke to this pub­li­ca­tion on con­di­tion of anonymity said many party mem­bers were not happy with Mr Mokhothu’s ap­point­ment, whom they re­gard as a po­lit­i­cal min­now.

Mr Mokhothu fled the coun­try in Au­gust this year cit­ing “sus­pi­cious ve­hi­cles” at his home and al­leg­ing per­se­cu­tion by the govern­ment of op­po­si­tion lead­ers such as ex­iled Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy leader Mo­thetjoa Metsing.

“His (Mr Mokhothu) ap­point­ment did not sit well with many of us be­cause he was lit­er­ally hand­picked, while some of us have been with the congress move­ment from the days of Ntate (for­mer prime min­is­ter) Ntsu Mokhehle. Mokhothu still needs nur­tur­ing in pol­i­tics,” the source said.

How­ever, Mr Qoo was adamant such a de­fec­tion was more fan­tasy than real­ity.

“There is noth­ing like that un­der the moon and the stars. There is no way any­body can leave this congress party and fol­low a man we know quite well. We know Ntate Moleleki and his ways. We be­lieve he still hasn’t changed, so there is sim­ply no way we can fol­low him. He is good where he is and we stayed be­hind for a rea­son. We have no re­grets,” Mr Qoo said.

His sen­ti­ments were echoed by Mr Seka­tle, whose name also ap­pears on the list.

“It’s not true. There is sim­ply no way I can de­fect to an­other party, not now and not ever. Be­sides how do we get to do that when par­lia­ment is closed,” he said, re­fer­ring to the ad­journ­ment of par­lia­ment last Fri­day.

His wife, Dr Seka­tle, who was re­cently re-elected pres­i­dent of the Women’s League con­curred.

“That is not pos­si­ble, we are solid here (in the DC),” she said.

Mr Let­sosa, also dis­missed the ru­mours as mere pro­pa­ganda.

“I only heard about it some few days ago but I don’t even know where it orig­i­nated from. This is sheer pro­pa­ganda. I am here to stay,” he said.

Echo­ing the sen­ti­ment, Moyeni leg­is­la­tor, Ma­hooana Rapitso Khati

said there was no way he would leave the DC.

“That would be a very stupid move. My peo­ple have been loyal to me and there is sim­ply no way I could let them down.

“They have voted me into par­lia­ment since 2012 to date and all that I want is for them to get ser­vices and not this cheap pol­i­tics” Mr Khati said.

If the de­fec­tion were to ma­te­ri­alise, it would dou­ble the AD’S 10 num­bers in par­lia­ment while fur­ther weak­en­ing the DC which cur- rently has 29 seats in the au­gust house.

The DC has already lost a leg­is­la­tor to the AD in Se­mena con­stituency MP, Tlo­he­lang Au­mane, who de­fected soon after the 3 June 2017 snap elec­tions. Mr Au­mane has since been appointed as Min­is­ter of De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning.

The de­fec­tion may also re­sult in the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of the coali­tion govern­ment’s po­lit­i­cal ap- point­ments. Apart from the AD, the gov­ern­ing coali­tion con­sists of Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho.

The ABC has the lion’s share of cab­i­net min­is­ters and other po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments due to its nu­mer­i­cal supremacy in terms of par­lia­men­tary seats of 51.

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