MASERU — Knives are out for Basotho National Party (BNP) youth league president, Tšeliso Lesenya, after he allegedly handpicked his friends to work as private secretaries for the party’s four cabinet ministers.
Sources in the BNP which is part of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said Lesenya faces the boot after some of his lieutenants in the party accused him of incompetence and nepotism.
The Lesotho Times heard this week there were now manoeuvres by members of the BNP youth league executive committee, which is made up of 14 individuals, to kick out Lesenya.
A highly placed source on Tuesday told this paper that Lesenya is accused, primarily of failing to implement resolutions made by the conference that crowned him youth leader on November 26 last year.
This paper understands that Lesenya is also charged with failure as the BNP youth wing’s president to drive the junior branch’s policies and vision.
But the source said the breaking point came after Lesenya allegedly picked his cronies to work as private secretaries to the party’s representatives in government.
“He was given the mandate as a representative of the youth in the executive committee.
“Instead, Lesenya called his friends for the interviews and the youth league was angry,” the source said.
The ministers are BNP leader and Gender Minister Thesele ’Maseribane, deputy leader and Home Affairs Minister Joang Molapo, Health Deputy Minister Dr Nthabiseng Makoae and Home Affairs Deputy Minister ’Malebitso Ralebitso.
“The youths are fired up and are doing everything in their power to put together a water-tight plan.
“Chances of him being removed are quite high,” the source said.
If things go as planned, the source added, Lesenya will be toppled at the next BNP youth league conference whose dates are still to be announced.
When contacted for comment on Tuesday, BNP youth league spokesperson Manama Letsie confirmed that Lesenya’s prospects of remaining president were bleak because “there is that noise that he should be removed”.
“I am familiar with what you are asking me regarding the BNP youth league president. There’s that call that he should be removed and there are solid reasons to justify the youth’s stance,” Manama said.
Manama told this paper that since the election of the BNP national youth committee last year, there had been “no formal meetings convened”.
“It is his responsibility to call such meetings but to date nothing has happened,” Manama said.
According to Manama, under Lesenya’s leadership, the BNP youth league had also failed dismally to implement resolutions made by the elective conference “such as political induction”.
“Among other things we resolved to create programmes on political education and establish an institute drilling the youth about self-reliance,” Manama said.
“We haven’t even sat down formally to discuss these issues and we’re now planning to go ahead and implement some of the resolutions without him.”
Manama added that the BNP youth league had also to date failed to instill discipline in the party because of a lack of coordination between members.
“What we need now as the BNP youth league is to champion principles of self-sufficiency and discipline because right now we see growing hooliganism among our youths,” Manama said.
“Our youths have been reduced to hooligans only interested in engaging in acts of instability.”
Manama emphasised also, that the BNP youth committee members were pained by the fact that they were never afforded the opportunity “to take part in selecting private secretaries for ministers”.
Manama added that the youth committee, without Lesenya’s input, was in the process of preparing for a conference to adopt the wing’s constitution “in order to deal effectively with cases such as Lesenya’s”.
Currently, Manama said, the BNP youth league was using the party’s general constitution which “renders the junior committee ineffective in some instances”.
“The BNP youth league constitution is ready but awaits approval by a conference. It has in it all the mechanisms needed to deal with various situations,” Manama said.
Although the youth league’s elective conference was scheduled for November, it will be at this conference that a motion of no-confidence against Lesenya “will likely be proposed”.
“If the conference decides to remove him, we will there and then elect a new president instead of waiting for November. But if it fails, we will have to wait,” Manama said.
Manama also mentioned Lesenya’s age as another issue of major concern saying “he’s well beyond the required age limit for one to be president of the youth league”.
Lesenya is 35.
The BNP constitution says however youth league members must be 35 years or below.