We will seek legal opinion on special conference: Metsing

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MASERU — Ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party secretary general Mothetjoa Metsing says he is seeking legal opinion to determine whether the party should resume the special conference or dump it for good.

Metsing was on Tuesday fired from his post as communications minister together with Motloheloa Phooko, a minister in the Prime Minister’s office.

Also fired was Khotso Matla, an assistant trade minister, who is also the editor of the party propaganda mouthpiece Mololi newspaper.

Speaking to the Lesotho Times a day after his dismissal, Metsing said there was a feeling within the party’s national executive committee that the committee had complied with the Court of Appeal President Justice Michael Ramodibedi’s order to hold a special conference although the agenda was not completed.

He said it was their understanding that the court order had been executed, although in part.

“We are seeking legal opinion on whether it (special conference) should be continued to complete the agenda or whether we should proceed to the annual conference,” Metsing said.

“We need to know whether the law will say we have executed the court order or not.”

Metsing’s comments add a new twist to the confusion that rocked the ruling party this week following Mosisili’s decision to axe the three ministers.

Sources that spoke to this newspaper said Mosisili axed the ministers after he was angered by the national executive committee’s failure to hold the special conference amid counter allegations that rival factions had tried to buss in delegates to rig votes at the conference.

Mosisili has blamed the executive committee for throwing spanners into plans to hold the special conference which was meant to decide the committee’s fate.

The conference was aborted after a row over delegates.

This was after one of the two factions in the ruling party accused the executive committee of trying to rig the outcome of the conference by approving supportive delegates.

Mosisili said the executive committee and the credentials’ committee which was vetting the delegates had failed to organise the conference.

The axed ministers are believed to be the ringleaders who are fighting against a rival faction led by Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki.

Sources said Mosisili had since thrown his weight behind Moleleki.

The Moleleki faction had sought to use last weekend’s special conference to oust the national executive committee that is aligned to Metsing and replace it with a pliable committee that is sympathetic to Mosisili.

That plan collapsed after the conference failed to take off.

Metsing yesterday said he was looking forward to the annual LCD conference that will elect a new leadership to take the party to the 2012 parliamentary election.

The election is expected by May.

Asked if he is seeing himself as Lesotho’s next prime minister, Metsing was diplomatic saying the one who will be elected LCD leader after the party’s elective conference “will be the Prime Minister.”

“I am sure that the LCD will win the coming elections and the LCD leader will be the prime minister,” he said.

“It does not matter who that one will be, whether it will be Ntate Lesao Lehohla or anybody, the bottom-line is the LCD leader will be the prime minister.”

Mosisili’s term as the LCD leader expires in 2015.

Metsing said there was widespread speculation over “local radio stations that someone will form a new party”.

There was speculation this week that Mosisili and the pro-Moleleki faction were now planning to form a break-away party following the acrimonious events within the LCD.

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