MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has warned of a “smell of death” haunting his Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party.
Addressing a march organised in his solidarity on Sunday, Mosisili admitted that factionalism had crippled the party ahead of looming elections.
The march was snubbed by the majority of his national executive committee.
Mosisili questioned whether the party which effectively split into two factions — Lija-Mollo and Litima-Mollo — was nearing its end.
Mosisili’s comments, contained in a ‘guidance letter’ read to the Sunday gathering, are significant because twice the party has split on the eve of elections.
Mosisili warned of a similar fate should divisions remain unhealed.
“The question is, what’s going to happen the third time around, in this era of the Lija-Mollo and Litima-Mollo?” he asked.
“It seems we LCD members don’t consider seriously the smell of death caused by internal splits.
“Could this mark that time for the LCD, where Paul in Timothy says people’s ears are itching and they choose to turn away their ears from the truth?”
The LCD split in 2002 where factions named themselves Lesiba (feather) and Sehlopha (group) resulted in the formation of the Lesotho People’s Congress.
“Just months away from the 2007 general elections, the divisions gave birth to the All Basotho Convention. That badly crippled our party. It was hit really hard,” Mosisili, who has been in charge of the party and country for 13 years said.
Two factions, Lepheo (wing) and Senotlolo (key) emerged during that era.
Mosisili said he was compelled to write the guidance letter “as a last resort” to end the feud within his party.
According to Mosisili, the main sources of the discord within the LCD were immense thirst for positions and “total disregard for the voice of the majority”.
“We all want to be in the committees, to all be leaders, to become MPs, to become ministers, but mostly to all become prime ministers,” he said.
But the most unfortunate part, Mosisili said, was that the thirst for positions usually emerge when “we are headed for general elections”.
The LCD had become accustomed to winning elections “so much that our sense of fear is dead”.
“When we commit acts that put the integrity of the LCD into disrepute, we just forge ahead, in the process misleading ourselves into believing that the public is blind to our transgressions,” the LCD leader said.
He went on the offensive, labelling party members fanning factionalism witches.
“I really don’t know if there is anybody getting any satisfaction or benefiting from the string of divisions ravaging the LCD. If there is such a person, they really must be a witch,” Mosisili said.
“What I see, which is also hurtful to me, is the manner in which the LCD is weakening due to these divisions. The worst part is that I have warned you before of the consequences of your fights.”
Mosisili said LCD officials causing problems for the party would “get what you’re looking for”.
“Now is the time for you to put your differences aside and forgive one another. People fight all the time but eventually make peace,” he said.
“Let us now accept that it is time to salvage whatever is left of the LCD, a legacy that we inherited from the founder of this party, Ntate Ntsu Mokhehle”.