Ex-NIP leader sues executive committee

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MASERU – A case in which the former National Independent Party (NIP) leader Anthony Manyeli is suing the party’s current executive committee will be heard on March 30.

Manyeli is arguing that the conference that voted him out as the leader of the party was convened unconstitutionally.

He claims that the executive committee that was elected during that controversial conference was illegitimate.

Manyeli and his faction boycotted the conference.

Manyeli also wants the current leader of the party Dominic Motikoe to be removed from office.

He is also wants the court to nullify the resolution of that conference.

Manyeli dragged the NIP executive committee to the court last year but the case was postponed on several occasions.

Although the party had been rocked by intra-fighting the real crisis started when the then deputy leader Motikoe decided to form an alliance with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).

Manyeli who is the founder of the paper was vehemently against the political marriage.

The alliance was formed in November 2006, three months before the national election.

The alliance deal was signed by Motikoe for NIP and Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla on behalf of LCD.

This created serious tension between Manyeli and Motikoe.

Their fight intensified when Motikoe submitted the list of NIP candidates for the proportional representation seats.

Manyeli argued that he had not approved the list. His own list was rejected by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

His attempts to rectify the issue fell through when the Court of Appeal ruled against him.

If Manyeli wins the case he would remain the leader of the party until another conference is held to elect the new leader and the executive committee.

However if Manyeli wins it will not affect the nature of parliament because he had already lost the court battle to get his list of candidates to be considered by the IEC.

The partnership between the two parties saw some of the LCD card carrying members, including some cabinet ministers, entering the national assembly under the NIP banner.

They include trade minister Popane Lebesa, tourism minister Lebohang Ntsínyi, education minister ‘Mamphono Khaketla and assistant minister of home affairs Lineo Molise.

When approached, Motikoe said he would not comment because the matter was sub judice.

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