QACHA’S NEK — Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing, has accused Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of misleading voters by claiming credit for development brought by the LCD
Addressing about a thousand supporters in Qacha’s Nek, Metsing lashed out at Mosisili’s splinter Democratic Congress (DC) party saying the new party should not claim credit for the successes initiated by the LCD government because it had never allocated a single annual budget.
“Where does the DC get it telling people that it developed Lesotho when it is in actual fact a new political party?” Metsing said.
“Yes, Ntate Mosisili did well as prime minister and we’ll always respect him for that. But the truth of the matter is that all this development you see was brought by the LCD government.”
Qacha’s Nek is Mosisili’s home district. It is also home to DC stalwarts, Public Works Minister Semano Sekatle and his wife, Ponts’o Sekatle, who is the Local Government Minister.
The Sekatles are regarded as fierce Mosisili loyalists.
Observers this week said the DC MPs will however face a stiff fight if they are to retain their seats in Qacha’s Nek if the numbers that attended the LCD rally are anything to go by.
Mosiouoa Nthakong, a former Qacha’s Nek district administrator, will go head-to-head with Ponts’o Sekatle in Qacha’s Nek constituency, while Phatela Sejanamane will wrestle for victory against Semano Sekatle in Lebakeng constituency.
Morolo Phooko has a herculean task of trying to unseat Mosisili in his Tsoelike constituency in the May 26 general election.
This is not the first time that Nthakong will square off against Ponts’o Sekatla.
In November 2011, Nthakong challenged Sekatle during the LCD primary elections. He lost amid allegations of chicanery on the part of the local government minister.
Speaking at the rally, LCD chairman, Thabang Pheko, said the rally was not “very big” because they had advised their supporters not to accompany Metsing to Qacha’s Nek for the party to be able to draw a clear picture of the support it commands here.
When Metsing finally grabbed the microphone, he was in a fiery mood.
He said Mosisili was resistant to change because when it became clear that it was time for him to bow out gracefully he instead created confusion by forming a new party.
“You would think that when change beckons, a leader would deal with it instead of causing confusion by forming a new political party,” Metsing said.
Unlike Mosisili, the late LCD founder Ntsu Mokhehle was a noble man who when the time came resigned willingly and refused to hang on to power even when supporters urged him to, Metsing added.
“In Ntate Mokhehle’s place came Ntate Mosisili, whose election to the leadership was marred by controversy,” Metsing said.
“I know all the good things that Ntate Mosisili did in his time. But now change has come and people need a leader who will be able to tackle challenges facing them today.”
When leaders avoid changes they risk the possibility of changes “walking all over you”.
Metsing cited the violent revolutions that took place in Arab countries since last year.
He said some of the leaders were ousted through violent revolts because they had overstayed their welcome.
“Look at what became of leaders like Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi. He refused to cede power and said he’d rather die a martyr. Indeed he died still a leader, under gruesome circumstances,” Metsing said, to further cheers and ululation.
“When changes come, deal with them instead of avoiding them because eventually they will trample on you.”
Metsing said Mosisili was a leader who had isolated himself and was now calling out to people to vote for him from a distance.
“How can you be calling out to people, promising to bring development when the whole country is up in arms against you, throwing stones at you?” Metsing quipped.
A clearly fired up Metsing said it was a blatant lie that free primary education, pensions for the elderly and infrastructure would be done away with if there was a change of government.
“No leader can lie to the public and mislead them by claiming that he has done everything using funds from his own pocket. The development you see was made possible by the LCD government,” Metsing said.
Metsing also appealed to the people of Qacha’s Nek not to indulge in politics based on loyalty to individuals.
“People of Qacha’s Nek, please do not feel like you owe anything to someone from Qacha’s Nek because you originate from the same place,” Metsing said to wild applause and cheers.
“Today people have spoken and they say they know the type of leader they need. They want someone who can relate to their needs and is fearful of God,” he added.
People nationwide were in agreement as to who would be prime minister after the May 26 election.
“If that was not the case, you wouldn’t be here in such great numbers. Please go and vote for the LCD. You came here not by any man’s influence but by God’s intervention,” Metsing said.
LCD secretary general Keketso Rants’o said the LCD had come to Qacha’s Nek to take back the fortunes that Mosisili had voluntarily thrown away.
“I’m talking about the fortunes this person had inherited from Ntate Ntsu Mokhehle but decided to throw away,” Rants’o said.
The former ruling party supporters, who were mostly clad in LCD regalia, sang songs denouncing the DC.
Metsing was flanked by LCD deputy leader Motloheloa Phooko, secretary general Rants’o, treasurer Lebohang Nts’inyi, chairman Thabang Pheko, youth league president Ts’oanelo Ramakeoane and the elders’ committee chairman Mpho Malie.
The rally was held within the Qacha’s Nek constituency currently represented by Ponts’o Sekatle.