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DC infighting is hurting Lesotho



PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC) is on the verge of an acrimonious split with party leaders exchanging barbs in the media.
The fallout comes against a bitter long-running ‘cold war’ between rival factions backing Mosisili and another faction rooting for his deputy Monyane Moleleki.
There appears to be no way back for the two factions on the path of reconciliation.
The hawks on both sides of the factions have drawn out their knives ready to bludgeon each other.

If there are any neutral voices within the DC, representing the ‘voice of reason’, such voices appear to be have been silenced.
The DC, which has been a behemoth on the Lesotho political scene, has literally shot itself in the head.

This week, Mosisili wrote to Moleleki and the party’s secretary general asking them to ‘show cause’ why they should not be suspended from the party.
The recent events could mark the end of the DC as we know it.
A split is imminent.

What we foresee is a bitter court battle over the control of the party and its assets.
The winner of that court battle will not need to celebrate as it would largely be a pyrric victory. The party, weakened by infighting, will be a shell of its former self.
That would be sad.

Away from narrow party interests, it is our position that the DC infighting is hurting Lesotho, badly. The whole constitutional and legislative reform agenda has been literally knocked off the perch.
That, in our opinion, is the biggest disservice that the DC has done for Basotho.
The infighting has thrown the reform agenda off course.

The economy has also been thrown into the back-burner, which is tragic.
As we pen this editorial, a large cloud of uncertainty is hanging over the renewal of AGOA putting at risk the jobs of over 40 000 Basotho. No one is focusing on the bread and butter issues.
This week, one of the biggest textile company that employs about 600 people in Maputsoe announced plans to pack its bags.

Yet while all this is going on, all our attention is on politics. In our humble opinion, this fixation with politics at the expense of everything else will be our biggest undoing.
Sadly, the people on the ground are already taking in the blows.
Given the gravity of our political and economic situation, we would like to think Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing had a point last week when he asked the nation to focus on the SADC reforms.

We need to keep our eyes on the ball if the reforms are to see the light of day.
Without a commitment to implement the reforms, we are doomed as a country.
It would be tempting to push for the collapse of the current coalition government and start all over again.

But we know that politicians are selfish by nature. They push for self-interests. We should move away from looking at short-term goals.
We believe the key to finding a lasting solution to Lesotho’s endemic political challenges lies in undertaking comprehensive constitutional and legislative reforms as recommended by SADC.

Any other approach would leave Lesotho in exactly the same situation that warranted SADC intervention two years ago.
Only when we have political stability will we be able to unlock the massive potential in our country.

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