MASERU — The Democratic Congress (DC)’s top three leaders are likely to retain their posts unopposed at the party’s first elective conference scheduled for later this month, the Lesotho Times can reveal.
The DC’s secretary general, Ralechate ’Mokose, told the Lesotho Times on Wednesday that the three-day indaba, which will start on January 25 and end on January 27, will see the party’s first official executive committee being elected into office for a three-year term.
Sources within the party however said while all positions will be up for grabs, there was consensus within the party that DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili, his deputy Monyane Moleleki and possibly ’Mokose “should retain their positions in the executive committee” uncontested.
“I can’t give you all the details because that would be tantamount to betrayal as it’s all still very much under wraps. But we do not expect to see many changes, especially at the top,” said one of the sources.
“The constituencies seem to agree that Ntate Mosisili, Ntate Moleleki and possibly Ntate ’Mokose should retain their current positions. As for the rest of the positions we’ll see.”
Mosisili formed the DC in February last year after a bruising power struggle with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) national executive committee.
The party usurped power from the LCD and ran the show in government for three months before it was ousted from power after the May 26 general election when it failed to win a 61 seat majority.
Mosisili graciously handed over power to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane who had cobbled up a coalition government together with the LCD and the Basotho National Party as the junior partner.
Mosisili, who steered the ship of state for almost 15 years, told his supporters in July last year that he ceded power to the coalition government to “preserve and protect democracy, Basotho and the country’s economy”.
“We chose to hand over the reins of power to the tripartite coalition to avoid bloodshed while we go back to the public that voted for us to thank them for their immeasurable support,” he said.
The DC has over the past 11 months been functioning with an interim executive committee led by Mosisili as party leader, Moleleki as his deputy while former public works minister Semano Sekatle is the deputy secretary general.
’Mokose told this paper that the conference was of significance to the DC because for the first time in the history of the party “we’re going to elect an executive committee whose tenure of office is three years”.
“The tenure of office of the rest of the committee members is three years while that of the leader is six years and are both provided for in the DC constitution,” ’Mokose said.
“We will therefore also formulate a three-year mandate with which the new committee will execute during its tenure of office.”
According to ’Mokose, the DC will also during the conference take a journey to reflect on its political fortunes and areas of weakness and devise strategies on regrouping properly “so that we come out stronger”.
“We went to constituencies soon after elections to establish why we failed to win the elections and govern. Now it is for the party’s membership to give us direction,” ’Mokose said.
The former agriculture minister under the Mosisili-led government revealed that nominations for preferred candidates from constituencies had already been submitted but also said that “I won’t divulge anything to you at this point”.
“I stand to be guided by the DC leadership as to when to announce the nominations officially,” ’Mokose said.
Asked if he still harboured ambitions to be the DC secretary general, ’Mokose evaded the question and would only say that “the mandate will be given by the people of my Kolonyama constituency”.
“I’m only a humble servant. The self in me cannot dictate the direction I should take but my constituency,” ’Mokose said.