Opposition accused of smear campaign

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Staff Writer

THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) has accused the opposition parties of plotting a smear campaign its leader, Mothetjoa Metsing with the aim of sowing confusion over the party’s alliance with the Democratic Congress (DC) ahead of next week’s parliamentary elections.

This follows rumours which have been doing the rounds on social media that the DC and LCD had agreed to merge and form the United Congress Movement (UCM) under the leadership of LCD leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing after next month’s polls.

The rumours, which were posted on various social media platforms under the title: The secret has been revealed also stated that Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili had agreed to step down as DC leader after the elections.

Dr Mosisili’s deputy in the DC, Mathibeli Mokhothu, had been earmarked to deputise Mr Metsing in the UCM, according to the claims.

However, officials in the DC and LCD have emphatically denied the rumours, saying they were being peddled by the parties’ opponents to sow confusion in light of their electoral pact.

And Prime Minister Mosisili’s Senior Private Secretary and LCD activist Mamello Morrison this week told the Lesotho Times that they were aware of a clandestine meeting the opposition recently held “together with some renowned academics” to intensify the smear campaign against Mr Metsing.

“We know that it is the members of the opposition. There is a suspicion that they had a meeting with some renowned academics,” Ms Morrison said.

She said the opposition had agreed to start “a disinformation media campaign that will smear Ntate Metsing”.

“One would ask, why would they target Ntate Metsing and not the Prime Minister? Because everybody knows that if DC were to go alone into the elections they would need someone to govern with. If the ABC goes it alone, they will need someone, and that someone is the LCD.

“So they see that there is no opportunity for them to get back into government unless and until they have partnered with Ntate Metsing. So the best thing is to sow confusion between the DC and the LCD.

“You have listened to both Ntate Mosisili and Ntate Metsing; both of them are categorical that they are going to go to elections as a partnership. We are going to rebuke, rebut and tell our people that this is smear campaign.”

Meanwhile, the LCD spokesperson Teboho Sekata last week fingered his Alliance of Democrats (AD) counterpart, Teboho Lehloenya, and All Basotho Convention (ABC) stalwart Majoro Mohapi as the “chief culprits” in disseminating the rumours at the instigation of their party leaders.

Mr Sekata claimed the opposition parties were using an audio application that could mimic human voices to spread recordings purportedly by him to “sow confusion in the congress movement”.

However, Mr Lehloenya, Mr Mohapi and ABC spokesperson, Tefo Mapesela have scoffed at the allegations, saying their parties were focused on canvassing votes for the upcoming polls “and had no time nor interest” in the congress alliance’s activities.

The DC and LCD have an electoral agreement, which also includes the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), which is meant to avoid vote splitting by the congress parties.

Under the agreement, the DC will contest in 54 constituencies while the LCD was allocated 25 in the National Assembly elections.

The parties will also vote for PFD leader, Lekhetho Rakuoane, in his Qalo stronghold in Butha-Buthe.

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