QACHA’S NEK – MOVEMENT for Economic Change (MEC) leader Selibe Mochoboroane says it will be difficult to dislodge Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s from the Tsoelike constituency in the Qacha’s Nek district.
Mr Mochoboroane said this while addressing approximately 1 000 MEC supporters at the party’s first rally in Qacha’s Nek since it was launched early this year.
The rally was held to drum up support for MEC 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.
The MEC leader said although he was hopeful of winning other constituencies in the district, he was however pessimistic about Tsoelike.
Qacha’s Nek has three electoral constituencies, namely Qacha’s Nek No.69, Lebakeng No.70 and Tsoelike No.71 which were all won by Dr Mosisili’s Democratic Congress (DC during the last elections that were held on 28 February 2015.
Dr Mosisili won the Tsoelike constituency with 4581 votes followed by the main opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) who garnered 325 votes.
Mr Mochoboroane said Dr Mosisili was highly likely to retain the constituency.
He said the DC leader’s popularity was akin to his own popularity in the Thabana-Morena constituency No.52.
Mr Mochoboroane won the Thabana-Morena constituency under the umbrella of his erstwhile Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party with 3167 votes in 2015, followed by the DC with 1472 votes.
“After spending a week conducting door-to-door campaigns I have no doubt the MEC can win elections in Lebakeng and Qacha’s Nek constituencies,” Mr Mochoboroane said, adding, “But I don’t want to lie and say we can win Tsoelike”. “The constituency remains a hard nut to crack. I think it has proved difficult for anyone to convince the people of Tsoelike against voting the old man (Dr Mosisili).
“I have no doubt however, that the MEC commands a lot of support from young people in Tsoelike. Our youth should work hard and convince the people in that constituency that it is high time the old man retires from active politics.
“Ntate Mosisili has done his part and he is just too tired to cope with the current dynamics in politics. Although we may lose in Tsoelike, our votes are definitely going to be enough to put more pressure on Ntate Mosisili to consider retirement,” he said.
He said although Dr Mosisili remained “powerful” in Tsoelike, there were still at least three challenges facing the people in all three constituencies namely, the lack of water, electricity and access roads.
Mr Mochoboroane said the challenges would be a thing of the past in the event of the MEC forming government after the elections.
He ruled out a pre-election alliance with other parties, saying MEC was determined to achieve an outright victory on its own.
“However, if we cannot achieve that, any parties that may approach us after the elections to propose a partnership in forming the government, would have to be those that prioritise our principles of serving the nation by providing electricity, water and roads as enshrined in our manifesto,” he said.
Mr Mochoboroane said his party was also concerned about the welfare of the senior citizens, saying that the MEC will consider providing monthly grocery vouchers on top of their monetary pensions.
“Our elders are facing challenges of being robbed off their monies every month end by young thieves. As the MEC we are coming up with a new initiative of providing them with grocery vouchers on top of the pensions they get.”
Meanwhile, surveys by the Lesotho Times crew in Qacha’s Nek suggested that there could be a close contest in Lebakeng, with MEC and the Alliance of Democrats (AD) emerging to challenge the DC.
Back in 2015, the DC candidate for Lebakeng, Semano Sekatle won the constituency with 6273 votes – the highest number of votes for one party candidate in 2015.
Basotho National Party’s (BNP) Mphale Setsoto Masoabi was the runner up with just 352 votes.
Mr Sekatle, the Development Planning Minister is the DC candidate for the same constituency in the upcoming elections in 2015.
However, several sources told the Lesotho Times that the MEC’s candidate Mokhachane Posholi and the AD’s ’Mathabo Sebilo were fast gaining popularity.
Mr Posholi and Ms Sebilo were part of Mr Sekatle’s campaign team for the last elections.
The sources also said the ABC and BNP could not be ruled out in all three Qacha’s Nek constituencies, particularly in the Qacha’s Nek No.69 constituency. DC candidate and Local Government Minister, Pontšo ’Matumelo Sekatle won the 2015 election with 5160 votes followed by the BNP’s Dr Nthabiseng Makoae with 819 votes.