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Mosisili must protect legacy



LESOTHO’S main opposition party, the Democratic Congress (DC), is in turmoil once again amid serious indications that it could split.
The DC leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, last week admitted as much when he told party supporters at a rally that he was aware of the simmering discontent within the ranks of his own party.
The reasons for the current imbroglio are the same issues that have dogged the DC since its formation about six years ago – the issue of succession.
As the party heads towards an elective conference early next year, we can expect fireworks at the conference. Daggers have already been drawn, with two rival camps coalescing around their own preferred candidates.

There is a sentiment within the party that Mosisili is trying to give an advantage to his deputy, Mathibeli Mokhothu, against other senior party cadres within the DC who are also eyeing the presidency.

Ordinarily, there is nothing wrong in Mosisili declaring his preferred successor. It is his constitutional right to do so.
However, it is something else for him to anoint a successor. Doing so would send a wrong signal to the party’s supporters who expect to elect a new leader of their choice through democratic means.

Given these strong sentiments, it is critical for Mosisili to help create a level playing field to allow the most popular candidate to take over the reins.
Any attempt to vitiate the will of the people will spectacularly backfire for the DC.
Mosisili must also think about his own legacy. He must bequeath to future generations a strong party that can help keep the coalition government on its toes and probably have a big chance of winning power in the next elections.

It would be sad if Mosisili were to preside over yet another split within the DC. That would seriously dent his legacy.
It would also raise serious questions about his leadership style and managerial prowess.
The DC has already suffered a split in its short history. The departure of Mosisili’s deputy, Monyane Moleleki and a coterie of other senior party leaders in 2017, seriously affected the party’s effectiveness.

We believe the DC lost power primarily because the leadership failed to see eye-to-eye on the issue of succession.
These were the same issues that dogged Mosisili when he was still at the helm in the Lesotho Congress for Democracy. He had to pack his bags to form the DC after he failed to resolve that sticking point.

We believe the DC will pay the price once again if it fails to handle the succession issue successfully.
The DC, as the government-in-waiting, must remain strong to ensure the coalition government does not sleep on the job. They must keep the government on its toes.
This is critical particularly at this time when Lesotho is embarking on constitutional, judicial and security sector reforms. This is probably Lesotho’s best chance to fix what is ailing our country.
That can only be done when political parties expend all their energies on the real issue that matters – the issue of governance.
Any other business will likely side-track the party from keeping its eyes on the ball.

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