LESOTHO Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader, Mothetjoa Metsing has lavishly praised Democratic Congress (DC) leader and outgoing Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s leadership qualities, saying he is the only politician capable of leading Lesotho out of the current instability.
Mr Metsing said this at a rally in Hololo constituency in Butha-Buthe district early this week.
The rally was held to drum up support for the DC ahead of the 3 June elections which were announced by His Majesty King Letsie III in the aftermath of the opposition’s successful no confidence vote that toppled the Dr Mosisili-led seven parties’ coalition government last month.
And Mr Metsing who is deputy Prime Minister in the outgoing government gave a brief account of the country’s instability under various governments including those of the military and the nationalists.
He accused the nationalists of ignoring the constitution, adding the country finally achieved stability under the single party government headed by Dr Mosisili from 1993 to 2011.
“We saw stability when Ntate Mosisili was leader of government where he ruled well without an alliance with other political parties,” Mr Metsing said, adding, “We saw good governance during his time but because of our misunderstandings and conflicts in the party we split”.
At the time, Dr Mosisili was a member of the LCD which he left to form the DC in 2012.
The LCD subsequently entered into an alliance with the All Basotho Convention (ABC) which resulted in a coalition government that was headed by ABC leader, Thomas Thabane from 2012 until it was replaced by the outgoing government in the 2015 snap elections.
Mr Metsing bemoaned the LCD split saying it had brought more harm than good to the country.
“In 2012, out of anger, we brought trouble on ourselves but we have now reached the point of saying ‘enough with pointing figures at one another on who was wrong and who was correct’.
“Let’s all swallow our pride and admit our mistakes so we can all move on.
“This calls on us to forget our misunderstandings and move on because we would go on and start to think of the time where some used to call themselves lija mollo (fire eaters) while some were litima mollo (fire extinguishers). We were too blind to see that we were belittling ourselves.”
He said they subsequently realised that the government had fallen “into the wrong hands and that on its own led to us reconciling”.
“Some of you can remember that because of my background and knowledge of politics, my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do some of the things the people I was in government with wanted me to do, so I became the enemy.”
He said at one time the Thabane administration (where he served as deputy Prime Minister) tried to prevent Dr Mosisili from receiving sitting allowances for parliament because he had chosen to receive his pension as former Prime Minister.
He said the then government was angry and sought to fire the attorney general who had said there was nothing wrong with Dr Mosisili receiving the sitting allowances but “I stood up and refused to let such things to happen”.
Mr Metsing said the Thabane administration also sought to fire the principal secretaries including Dr Mosisili’s son Rethabile Mosisili who was deputy principal secretary at the Ministry of Gender, Sports and Recreation.
“Some people wanted him fired but I refused because I know that for me to become a minister was because of ntate Pakalitha.
“So I told them that wherever I am ntate Pakalitha’s children will not be harassed,” Mr Metsing said.
He said in the two years they had worked together in the outgoing government, Dr Mosisili had done very well.
“We united to rescue ourselves from the situation we were in as he (Dr Mosisili) became a special angel to me.
“We realised and agreed that together we can defeat the enemy,” Mr Metsing said.
He said for this reason they decided to continue their alliance to the upcoming elections, adding Dr Mosisili had shown exceptional leadership qualities in the current government, preaching unity, stability and peace.
“I told ntate Mosisili that we need to ensure that this unity works now because if we don’t do it now there is never a time in the future when this will happen,” Mr Metsing said.