BEREA — “I am neither a prophet nor a fortune teller, but I can assure you that we will surpass the simple majority win at the May 26 poll,” Democratic Congress leader Pakalitha Mosisili declared on Sunday.
Mosisili made the bold prediction soon after addressing the DC’s last campaign rally at Ha-Foso in the Berea constituency ahead of Saturday’s general election.
“I’m sure we’ll make way beyond the required 61 seats. It is unreasonable not to expect the DC to make a clean sweep of the poll,” Mosisili said.
A jubilant Mosisili was responding to a question by the Lesotho Times during a brief interview with the media at the rally.
About 7 000 supporters attended the rally at Ha-Foso which Mosisili said was the most successful in the history of Lesotho’s politics.
The party supporters, donning their red T-shirts and caps, had momentarily transformed the Thaba-ea-Mali hill and its foothills into a sea of red.
“DC members coming here today in record numbers should be enough to convince even the stone-hearted of this world that even if they were to combine their rallies, they wouldn’t be a match for the DC,” Mosisili said defiantly.
Mosisili was flanked by DC interim secretary general Ralechate ‘Mokose, deputy secretary general Semano Sekatle and the party’s women’s league president Ponts’o Sekatle.
The premier was also quick to appeal to his political opponents to respect the will of the people by accepting the election outcome. He promised that the DC would do the same.
“We will accept the election outcome because it will have been the will of the people. My main message to Basotho is that they should go the polls peacefully. DC will welcome the results,” Mosisili said.
DC constituency and proportional representation candidates comprised two groups of men and women who were dressed to the nines while sticking to the colour code of red, black and green.
The rally was also attended by observer teams from Southern African Development Community (Sadc), African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth as well local and foreign journalists from South Africa’s SABC as well as the US’s Wall Street Journal.
Mosisili said he was thankful for the presence of the observer teams as they would bear testimony to the peaceful and credible manner in which Basotho would express their will.
“I’ve no doubt that on May 26 Basotho will elect a government of their choice in a free, fair and transparent manner which will be a reflection of the will of the people. We’ve no doubt whatsoever that they are ready to do so,” he added.
The main challenge was for political parties across the board to accept the election outcome, he said.
“I say without any equivocation that the DC will accept the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box. I challenge my opposition colleagues to accept and respect the will of the people.
“I wish also to assure our Sadc peers that there won’t be any post-election conflict after the poll outcome because we will do all in our power to protect the people’s choice.”
Famo artistes Puseletso Seema, Seakhi Group and the Mokhethoaneng traditional female dancers entertained the crowd.
DC is a splinter party of the former ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). It was formed by Mosisili, ending a two-year long factional battle that had threatened to destroy the party.
According to Mosisili, Saturday will also be “judgment day” between the DC and its colleagues in the LCD.
“Saturday is ‘judgment day’ between us and the men and women we left behind in the LCD,” Mosisili said.
He also applauded DC supporters for maintaining a dignified silence when they were being victimised and “poked in the eye by doomsayers whose intention was to destroy our rallies”.
Mosisili was referring to the DC’s two election campaign rallies at the Maputsoe and Thetsane industrial areas which saw opposition supporters heckling Mosisili. Ten people were injured when opposition supporters stormed the DC’s rally in Thetsane. “When we complained, we were told that political rallies are not churches by experts of law who deliberately turned a blind eye to the truth,” he added.
“All that happened because it was a ploy to stop this forthcoming election but instead push for a coalition government. What coalition government are they talking about?”
Mosisili said he had heard on local radio stations people cracking their heads and prophesying that Lesotho was headed for a coalition government.
“A coalition formed by whom? I hear false prophets saying this all over the place, forgetting possible repercussions. Well, I say to you that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” he said.
The premier also resorted to the gospel by quoting from the Bible.
“I know who I trust in and am sure he has the power to protect that which he has put in my care until that day comes”.
“The one I trust is God and that which He has placed in our care is Lesotho’s democracy. We have to protect it with all your might. I unashamedly urge you to vote for the DC on May 26,” Mosisili said.
He thanked the sponsors that had made the DC rally a success, giving special mention to South Africa’s party boy and mining magnate, Kenny Kunene, “for your outstanding support”.
“We wish to thank everybody, especially ZAR (Kunene’s group of companies) for making today’s rally the success it is,” Mosisili said.