Lesotho Times

Mosisili’s gripe with Thaba-Tseka voters

THABA-TSEKA — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Sunday defended his government’s record in steering development in rural districts.
Mosisili was addressing about 2 000 ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party supporters in Thaba-Tseka, about 190km north of Maseru.
Mosisili expressed disgust at charges by critics that his government was lazy.
“It is tiring to hear that people complain about the lack of development under the LCD government. What are they talking about?
“Has any other regime ever brought so much transformation except for the LCD? No!” Mosisili said.
The LCD leader urged supporters to defend the party’s record and take to task government critics.
“If a person does not stop speaking ill of the LCD, drag him by the blanket and show him the work we have done such as tarred roads.
“Then ask him, ‘What is this? Is this your grandmother? Tell me, is this your mother? (Ke’ng ntho ee? Ke mosali-moholo ntho ee? Ke ‘máo ntho ena na?),” Mosisili said.
The remarks were met with whistling and ululating by party supporters.
Mosisili said he was not being vulgar in vociferously defending his party’s record in bringing development in rural regions.
“I know the prophets of doom are going to have a field day dissecting my speech, claiming that I never finish my speeches without resorting to vulgarity. Ha ba tlohe mona! (They should get lost),” Mosisili said.
The LCD leader urged Thaba-Tseka villagers to shun the opposition and vote for the ruling party in next year’s 2010 local government elections.
He said voting for the opposition would make it difficult for the central government to hasten development in rural districts.
“When you vote for the opposition in local government elections, you make it difficult for the central government to bring services closer to you,” Mosisili said.
He said he still could not understand why the LCD lost to the Basotho National Party (BNP) in the last local government elections in the district held on August 22 this year.
“I was surprised to see the LCD being defeated by the BNP here in the last local government by-elections. What were you thinking?
“You truly embarrassed yourselves. How could you gamble with your lives like that?” Mosisili said.
He said the BNP had failed to help the people for years when it was still in power.
The BNP, under the late Chief Leabua Jonathan, was at the helm of Lesotho politics since independence in 1966 until it was toppled in a military coup in 1986.
Following the 1970 elections Jonathan imposed a state of emergency, suspended the constitution and arrested his political opponents as he consolidated his grip on power.
“Why vote for the very same BNP which failed for such a long time in its mandate to help meet your needs? What did you think it would do for you this time around? You better repent from your ways,” Mosisili said.
He said it would be a mistake for people in Thaba-Tseka to vote for the opposition in the local government polls as they will not be able to push for changes in governance.
“The LCD will still be a government in 2010. It would therefore be a grave mistake to allow opposition political parties to win the local government elections,” Mosisili said.
He urged the Thaba-Tseka community to vote for the LCD as that would enable the central government to bring development and services to the district.
“This business of you struggling to carry the sick to hospitals and the dead to mortuaries will only end when you use your votes wisely by not surrendering to the opposition.
“When you vote wisely, you allow for the central government to bring basic services closer to you and implement policies,” he said.
BNP leader Metsing Lekhanya could not be reached for comment on the issues raised by Mosisili.
All Basotho Convention (ABC) party leader, Thomas Thabane, said it was becoming clearer that the government was deliberately withholding development in districts won by the opposition as punishment for ditching the ruling party.
“I have a strong inkling that the Mosisili administration is not taking services to areas where the opposition dominates in an attempt to make us come across as though we are not doing anything to ensure transformation,” Thabane said.
“I suspect Mosisili fears that if the opposition was to be given power at the local councils where they have won, their performance would surpass that of the government.”
Thabane added Mosisili’s statements were a threat to principles of democracy, which say that people are at liberty to vote for any candidate of their choice in elections.
“Mosisili’s statements and attitude towards the opposition totally defy principles of democracy which clearly state that people are at liberty to vote for candidates and political parties of their choice,” Thabane said.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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