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LCD up in flames



MASERU – THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’s administrative secretary narrowly escaped being harmed by an angry mob at the party’s offices last week.

The attack on Mpolokeng Mahana, last Wednesday, comes as the LCD is in the throes of a power battle between leader Mothetjoa Metsing and secretary general Teboho Sekata.

The battles have intensified as the party prepares for an elective conference that is supposed to be held within the next five months.

Mahana was roughed up by a mob that accused her of being part of the power battles.

Her car was scratched as she fled from the crowd that appeared to be dominated by young people.

Eyewitnesses said the crowd chased after Mahana’s car who told thepost that she has not been reporting to the office since the incident because she fears for her life.

She said she did not want to say much about the incident because the executive committee is already dealing with the issue.

She however vehemently denied that she is a member of any faction.

The factional wars in the LCD appear to have intensified after the party’s dismal performance in the recent election.

The party won three proportional representation seats. With hearts still sore, accusations have been flying back and forth as the members try to explain the party’s embarrassing performance.

Many party members blame the leadership for the party’s decline since 2012.

Apesi Ratšele, the spokesperson, has admitted that factionalism is tearing the party apart.

“We met and decided to form a task team made up of five members to investigate the rebellion in the party and report back to us,” Ratšele said.

He said the team was appointed last Thursday and was supposed to report to the executive committee on Monday this week.

“Members know what to do when they are not satisfied with the leadership and it’s not this way,” Ratšele said.

He said executive committee tenure ends in December and elections are supposed to be held within 90 days.

The fights have spilt over to Facebook where members are pelting each other with insults and accusations.

Leading the shouting match on the social media platform is Makafane Jase, the LCD’s stalwart commonly known as Jase oa Machache.

Jase is particularly scathing of the party’s deputy leader Tšeliso Mokhosi who he has said is too old and out of touch with reality.

“He must withdraw his name from the PR list and be replaced by another person,” Jase said in an interview with thepost this week.

He said Mokhosi has been in parliament for too long and should make way for young people. Mokhosi has been an MP since 2012.

Jase said Metsing should not be an MP because he is enjoying a pension and benefits as a former deputy prime minister.

“They should do so if they love the LCD and its members,” he said.

He said he is about to defect, saying the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Democratic Congress (DC), Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) are touting him to join them.

Jase, who does not hide that he is rallying behind Sekata, said there is a smear campaign against the secretary general.

He said some party bigwigs are jealous that Sekata had a successful campaign through public outreach activities in his ’Maletsunyane constituency and other areas as well.

“Sekata is a suitable person to lead the party as he has donated many wheelchairs and food parcels to needy Basotho,” he said.

“Some people insulted him saying he was working for himself and not the party.”

He said former LCD secretaries-general, Selibe Mochoboroane who has since formed his own MEC party, and Keketso Rantšo who left to form the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) faced the same offhand treatment from the leadership when they became popular.

Jase complained that when Sekata was elected chairman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee some in the party wanted him to resign and be replaced by Mokhosi.

“Our party could only progress if Metsing and Mokhosi resign and leave us alone.”

He said some party members are now calling for his suspension for criticising the leadership. He however said he is not worried because he is speaking the truth.

“They do not know me well”.

A voice clip leaked to the media after being sent by youth league committee member, Phokojoe Sekola, to the party’s WhatsApp group paints a picture of the battles.

Sekola is heard saying Jase and other rebels are fighting for PR seats.

“It is my first time to know that Metsing is being fought like this for seats,” Sekola said.

He said Jase and others who believe in Sekata should secure letters from ten constituencies to successfully complain about Metsing.

“We have our structures here and not the Facebook and radios. People know what to do,” Sekola said.

He said Sekata is “the cruelest secretary general” the party ever had.

“This is not a donation party,” he said, referring to Sekata’s generosity to the needy.

Metsing denied that he was the reason the party performed poorly in the election.

He said the party lost because its members joined the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP).

“I blame our loss on our members who did not vote for the LCD but the RFP,” Metsing said.

Mokhosi and Sekata declined to comment.

Nkheli Liphoto

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