Maseru, Apr.01 — A dull and sombre Saturday morning marking day two of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) elective conference at Methodist High School in Berea district.
Unlike in the past where there would be ululations and songs by constituency delegates has today turned to be a quiet and tense day.
With members of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) visible with no guns while all delegates were ordered out of the school premises to assemble at the main gate where they were searched before entering the gate.
The Police requested that all to surrender their weapons as such will not be allowed into the hall. At three firearms were confiscated from some of the members and they were informed that they would be returned to them when the conference ends.
On the other hand, the leader Mr. Mothejoa Metsing is expected to deliver his official speech later in the day thereafter followed by elections.
The contested positions are from Deputy Leader, Secretary General, Treasurer and others’ while the Leader position is not being contested as his term has not ended.
Moreover, just three days before this conference, the party’s Secretary General Mr. Teboho Sekata was suspended from his position by Leader Metsing.
Meanwhile there are two factions within the party Litipi siding with Sekata while Makhabunyane are with Metsing and his Deputy Ts’eliso Mokhosi. This is not the first time that LCD has two factions as in 2012 they had Lijamollo and Litimamollo which led to the formation of Democratic Congress (DC).
In 1997, then Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle left the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) to form with his faction the new Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). The new party won the 1998 elections with 60.7% of the popular vote and 79 out of 80 seats. Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili became the new party leader and prime minister. At the elections for the National Assembly, May 25, 2002, the party won 54.9% of popular votes and 77 out of 120 seats. In the February 17, 2007 parliamentary election, the party won 62 out of 120 seats.
Major splits from the party occurred in October 2001, when leading LCD members Kelebone Maope and Shakhane Mokhehle left the party to form the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) and in October 2006, when Tom Thabane left the party to form the All Basotho Convention (ABC). Prior to the Lesotho general election, in 2012 the party split again with incumbent Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili forming the Democratic Congress (DC) and the then General Secretary Mothetjoa Metsing taking over the party leadership.