The recent summons of three Members of Parliament (MPs) by the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) executive committee has plunged the party into a swirling controversy.
The scheduled disciplinary hearing revolves around the defiant actions of MPs Thuso Makhalanyane, Dr Mahali Phamotse, and Rethabile Letlailana, who are accused of voting against the government’s agenda during a recent special parliamentary meeting.
The trio, slapped with notices of the impending disciplinary hearing, now find themselves at the center of a political maelstrom.
However, the tempestuous waters seem to have only fueled the fire of Makhalanyane’s determination, who found the charges against him wanting.
He has expressed dissatisfaction with the charges leveled against him, stating that the charges lacked clear details of their factual foundation.
In his response letter to RFP secretary general, Nthati Moorosi, he asserted: â€œIt is in order to cure these deficiencies that I request to be provided with particulars to enable me to prepare for my defense against the charges.â€
He also pointed out that the disciplinary hearing was convened incorrectly, citing the party’s constitution that dictates he should be summoned by the village or sub-branch in which he is registered.
He referred to Section 14(a) of the constitution, which he said outlines the process for handling disputes within the party and raised concerns about the hearingâ€™s legality.
He indicated that the cited section reads: â€œâ€¦ any dispute within the party shall be referred by any member to the integrity and dispute resolution committee at village, sub-branch, or constituency level as the case may beâ€¦â€
In the present proceedings, he said, there has not been any complaint leveled against him by any member of the party in any of the disciplinary platforms outlined in the constitution.
â€œI am left with no option but to aver that the disciplinary hearing has been convened ultra vires the stated provisions and therefore are unlawful,â€ he said.
Makhalanyane also questioned the improper institution of the disciplinary hearing saying it was issued by the secretary general of the National Executive Committee (NEC), contrary to the constitution’s stipulations.
â€œI aver that the hearing was not called by any of the structures that have the power to discipline members, the executive committee and the secretary general have thus usurped the functions of the integrity and dispute resolution committee that must exercise the functions to receive complaints and deal with disciplinary matters which include inviting charged members,â€ he stated.
â€œThat is the exclusive terrain of the IADRC. The EC and the SG acted beyond the scope of their mandate. In terms of the constitution, all the executive committee can do is establish the integrity committee. On these grounds alone, the process is legally abortive and must be terminated forthwith,â€ he added.
In his quest for transparency, Makhalanyane requested specific details, such as the directives of the party he is accused of defying and evidence of his alleged violations.
â€œI request to be provided with the directives of the party that I am said to have defied. I further wish to be provided with the dates of the alleged defiance,â€ he demanded.
He added: â€œI further wish to be provided with the said platforms, be it radio stations or newspapers where I publicly defied the orders of the Leader. I further wish to be provided with the same details regarding my alleged failure to adhere to collective decisions, I must be provided with the collective decisions and evidence of my defiance thereof.â€
RFP was formed just six months before the October 2022 national assembly elections by the business mogul Sam Matekane.
It won 56 out of 120 parliamentary seats â€“ five seats short of an absolute majority.
But the impressive win fell short of a majority that would have ended the era of unstable coalition politics in Lesotho.
It then formed a coalition government with the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and Matekane became the prime minister.