LCD lashes out at opposition over Masire’s report

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MASERU — The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) national executive committee has lashed out at the opposition for capitalising on the Sir Ketumile Masire’s report to sow confusion in Lesotho.

Speaking at a press conference the LCD public relations officer Khotso Matla said the “opposition has gone too far by calling for a stay-away”.

Matla said the opposition was now taking advantage of the Masire report to push their regime-change agenda.

He said the report has sown seeds of confusion in the country.

“The Masire report shocked us. It has also sown seeds of confusion in this nation and now the opposition is capitalising on its contents by going on a stay-away,” Matla said.

Matla said as far as the NEC was concerned Masire had overstepped the mandate he got from SADC adding that he had “invaded a territory that was not his to meddle in”.

According to Matla, Masire’s mission among others was to mediate between the government and the opposition and bring the two sides together for talks. 

“Never at any given time was he mandated to preside over the matter and point out mistakes by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) or blame our courts of law.”

“The opposition is now taking matters too far and we must clarify that we are against the stay-away.”

Matla said they were appealing to the opposition to avail themselves for talks and let people go on with their normal routine while politicians try to work things out.

“Let us talk as leaders. Let people go to work while politicians work on SADC-related matters,” Matla said.

Matla said the report was misleading to say the government had turned against talks and agreements forged with the opposition.

 “Sir Ketumile blames LCD and government for the failure of the talks and even goes further to thank the opposition for tolerance throughout.”

He said Masire took the opposition for saints “even though all Basotho know of their bad conduct and the questionable manner in which they handle issues”.

Matla said it was not true as Masire put it in his report that the government had also refused to have a seminar on the issue.

“The only problem we encountered was that we failed to agree on how to use the expert advice once we had it. Opposition wanted for there to be a review of the allocation of the proportional representation seats in the national assembly and have some MPs chucked out.”

“That would have amounted to going against the court’s ruling and we would not be upholding the court’s decision if we entertained that idea,” Matla said.

“We urge the nation therefore not to engage in the stay-away.”

Matla advised the opposition to use the legal route and appeal the matter in court.

“Instead of plunging this country into mayhem and chasing investors away, which will undoubtedly lead to people losing their jobs and impacting negatively on the economy, the opposition should reconsider and do the noble thing of taking the legal route.”

Speaking at the same press conference LCD secretary general Mothetjoa Metsing warned the opposition that they were not above the law and that they were not in a position to interpret the laws of this country except for the courts.

“Only the IEC can go to court to attempt to undo things, if anything was ever done wrongly to begin with.”

Metsing called out to opposition leaders to meet with government to thrash whatever issues they had “instead of resorting to drastic measures like a stayaway”.

Metsing said: “Let us all come together and work things out. We did not even need Masire in the first place. We could have solved our problems on our own.”

Metsing pleaded with the public to “refrain from engaging in activities that could cripple the country’s economy”.

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