BUTHA-BUTHE — Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) women’s league boss, ‘Mathabiso Lepono, last Sunday launched a scathing attack on opposition leader Thomas Thabane describing him as a “deceitful leader” bent on causing confusion in Lesotho.
Thabane is a former government minister who quit the ruling party to form the opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) party in 2006.
The ABC, which enjoys popular support in urban areas, is seen posing the biggest threat to the LCD’s grip on power.
Lepono was addressing about 600 LCD supporters at an election campaign rally in Hololo constituency in Butha-Buthe, about 130km north of the capital Maseru.
The by-election was called to fill in a vacancy following the death of LCD Member of Parliament for Hololo constituency, Nthofeela Lesala, in November last year.
The by-election has been set for May 22.
Hololo constituency has traditionally been a stronghold of the LCD. The ruling party won 1 823 votes in the last election in 2007 general election against the ABC’s 1 115 votes.
There are also two other by-elections in Mpharane and Sebapala constituencies.
“There are two categories of leaders in this world. There are those who are honest and serve God in earnest. But we also have those who thrive on deceit,” Lepono said.
“The ABC leader, Thomas Thabane, falls under the second category. He is always out to deceive and mislead people. He insults and undermines our intelligence.”
Lepono, who is also the Minister of Sports, said Thabane had once vowed to “die where our leader, Ntate Mosisili, dies”.
“But where is he now? Today he is the very same man attempting to dishonour our leader and government . . . he is a man lacking in integrity.”
She also accused Thabane of lying that the government was broke and could no longer afford to provide free primary school education and old age pensions in 2010.
“He (Thabane) concocted the lie that we would not be providing old age pensions and free primary education due to financial constraints in 2010,” Lepono said.
Lepono urged LCD members not to lose focus.
“Please do not get carried away by their empty promises (le se ke la khahloa ke none e feta e hlotsa). Don’t run after the ABC.
“The ABC (Kobo-tata, blanket of the nation) is a blanket that keeps being ripped apart because it was not founded on truth and honesty,” Lepono said.
Speaking at the same rally LCD deputy leader, Lesao Lehohla, also lambasted the ABC saying the party did not have the nation’s interests at heart.
“Today we are at war with political parties that do not wish any good for this nation,” Lehohla said.
“I appeal to you to stick together as you have always done. It would be sad if you were to lose your way. Go on and keep on working hard to lift the LCD flag up high at the polls on 22 May.”
Lehohla lambasted opposition leaders in Lesotho for failing to bring any development to Lesotho but keeping at the forefront of criticising LCD policies.
“Bo-Ntate Thabane, Malebo, Maope, Lekhanya and ‘M’e Deborah, how is it that you failed to bring to life free primary education and old age pension funds in your time?” Lehohla said.
“You were part of the very administration that you are crushing today. So how did you fail to prove your worth?”
Lehohla said the problem with the opposition was that it was an “untrustworthy opposition that goes against the law at every turn”.
The LCD will be represented in the by-election by 23-year-old Teboho Lets’ela.
Contacted for comment, Thabane scoffed at the LCD attacks as “old news”.
“What Lehohla and Lepono said about me in Hololo is old news. Mosisili has said it before so it does not in the least scare me,” Thabane said.
“I am not dead yet so I will live my life as I see fit. I left them because they were tainting my values and beliefs.”