PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili says the split in his party which resulted in some former high ranking officials joining forces with the opposition to topple his government was in fact a blessing in disguise to the congress movement.
Dr Mosisili made the remarks while addressing a rally over the weekend in Mapoteng, Berea district which has three electoral constituencies namely; ‘Makhoroana, Mosalemane and Bela-Bela.
The rally was held to drum up support for the DC ahead of the 3 June 2017 elections which King Letsie III called in the aftermath of the opposition’s successful no-confidence vote on the Dr Mosisili-led seven party coalition government last month.
Dr Mosisili’s comments were in reference to the December 2016 split in the DC which saw former deputy leader Monyane Moleleki jump ship along with a sizeable chunk of hitherto DC legislators, national executive committee members as well as women and youth league officials.
Mr Moleleki formed the Alliance of Democrats (AD) after failing to wrest control of the DC from Dr Mosisili.
Mr Moleleki joined forces with the-then tripartite opposition bloc consisting of the All Basotho Convention, Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho to bring down the Mosisili administration in last month’s no confidence vote in parliament.
However, Dr Mosisili said the split was actually a blessing as the congress movement had emerged stronger after the DC subsequently joined hands with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD led by deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing) to fight the elections on a united front.
“The fact that the nationalists rose against us was a blessing on our part,” Dr Mosisili said, adding, “and I believe those that are happiest from their graves are our predecessors including one Mr Ntsukunyane Mphanya”.
“Mr Mphanya once called me and Ntate (Mothetjoa) Metsing to his place where he told us that the future of the congress movement was in our hands.
“Now the nationalists, assisted by Moleleki’s rebellion, have been to our advantage – by successfully raising a vote of no confidence to the government which has united us.”
He said the DC-LCD alliance came at the right time when the country was entering the second round of independence which he said should be under the leadership of the congress movement.
Lesotho is in its 51st year of independence and Dr Mosisili said the country’s freedom did not start well under the leadership of the BNP.
Dr Mosisili also sought to allay concerns by congress supporters that the DC-LCD pact excluded other congress parties like the Basotho Congress Party (BCP) and the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC).
He said it was a strategy to leave those parties out of the election pact, particularly the BCP as they believed the party was capable of winning at least some proportional representation seats which would come in handy for the congress movement in the next parliament.
Dr Mosisili also took a swipe at some pastors who allegedly discouraged congregants from voting for congress parties.
“Something has now emerged in our churches that some pastors say the congress movement should not be voted into power.
“This is exactly what was done by the whites in 1965,” he charged.
He also warned his followers to be cautious towards some non-governmental organisations who used the voter education process to campaign for certain parties he did not name.
The rally was also attended by LCD supporters.