LCD denies pressuring King

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LCD youth league President Motlatsi Maope

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE YOUTH league of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCDYL) has accused the opposition bloc of spreading false claims that King Letsie III agreed to the dissolution of parliament under duress from the parties in the coalition government.

The country is due to hold its third elections in just five years on 3 June.

This follows the dissolution of parliament on 1 March by His Majesty King Letsie III on the advice of Prime Minster Pakalitha Mosisili who lost a no confidence vote in parliament last month.

The opposition bloc consisting of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Alliance of Democrats (AD), Basotho National Party (BNP) and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) sponsored the no confidence motion in the hope of replacing Dr Mosisili with AD leader Monyane Moleleki as Prime Minister in lieu of elections.

The opposition had envisaged that Mr Moleleki would be Prime Minister for the first 18 months before handing over to ABC leader and former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

However, their hopes were dashed when King Letsie III heeded Dr Mosisili’s advice to dissolve parliament and call for elections.

And in the face of imminent elections, some opposition politicians reportedly alleged on social media that His Majesty had been arm-twisted into agreeing to the dissolution of parliament.

However, the LCDYL dismissed the claims at a press conference in Maseru on Tuesday, saying the opposition were merely seeking to taint the image of their party and leader, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.

“We did not even have to prove these allegations as we trust His Majesty and his office,” said the LCDYL President, Motlatsi Maope, adding, “It should be clear that His Majesty can’t be removed as claimed by the opposition”.

LCDYL spokesperson, Theko Tlebere added that there was “no tangible proof that our leader forced His Majesty to sign at gun-point as it has been claimed by the opposition.”

“To show that there is no truth in the whole matter, His Majesty was given the gazette by the Prime Minister on 3 March and it was only signed on 6 March, then announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 7 March at 13.00hrs.

“This is proof that the only time that the Deputy Prime Minister met with His Majesty was when he went to fetch the gazette on behalf of the Prime Minister,” Mr Tlebere said.

He said they had put up with nationalist propaganda for a long time and the hatred and lies had tainted their leader’s image, adding now “they have started speaking lies about His Majesty and it’s only fair that the nationalists should know that their days of lying are over as the nation knows that we respect His Majesty”.

He said the propaganda had cost them dearly in the last elections and damaged government’s relations with development partners.

“Our development partners were made to believe that people from the opposition were being attacked and abducted by the army and police.

“We appeal to the development partners to not heed to these fabrications which are meant to tarnish the good relations with the government”.

Mr Tlebere also dismissed claims by the BNP spokesperson, Machesetsa Mofomobe that he was harassed by some army officers and AD youth leader, Thuso Litjobo who said that his house was surrounded by heavily armed men.

“These are just some cheap publicity stunts meant for Basotho to lose confidence in the national security agencies. Why didn’t they report those incidents to the police?

“They are trying to get sympathy from the international community.”

However, Mr Mofomobe said “it is not surprising for the LCD to say that about us because killings are very normal to them and there is never a time when the army is at fault”.

“I wanted to seek refuge at the police station but did not do so upon realising that part of the team that wanted to kidnap me were members of the police and the army,” Mr Mofomobe said in an interview with this publication.

For his part, Mr Litjobo said the “LCD is known for its atrocities which are carried out by police and army officers”.

“It is quite obvious that when people have set a trap and it doesn’t work they will definitely be bitter and angry, so the least I can do is to advise those youths to try and resuscitate their dead political party rather than waste their energy on us.”

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