RFP selection criteria stirs dissent

Kelebohile Pholosi

Disgruntled Revolution for Prosperity members who won primary elections but were blocked by the party leadership from standing for election in the coming polls on October 7 this week held a press conference demanding transparency. Among these were Dr. Mahali Phamotse from Matlakeng,’Mampho Seutloali from the Stadium Area, Monohi Ralentsoe from Makhaleng, Chopho Lekhoabane from Khafung, Morakane Monate from Hlotse, Kobeli Rethabile Latlailane from Lithoteng, Thabo Moloi from Machache and Mamako Mohale-Lerata from Matelile.

The was to clarify that the primary appointed applicants who had leading votes are still part of the party even though they have not been selected to lead their constituency and reject lies that have been escalating; however, they are not denying that there are certain candidates that have left the party due to this situation. Although these aggrieved members said they were not going to leave the party over their grievances, they conceded some members had left the party as a result.

The group said they wanted party leader Sam Matekane to explain what criteria had been used to block them since, from their understanding the party had announced selection would be based on educational background, success in business or other achievements in communities, which the group said they have. In a joint press statement, the group said they believe their concerns can only be put to rest f they get hold of the document put together by Matekane explaining how candidates were shortlisted.

“Members are worried that the results lack transparency. This has caused loss of members in some constituencies,” the statement said, adding some had gone back to their original parties. RFP has shown a very unusual way of choosing candidates which is not what Basotho are used to. For example, Phamotse garnered 96 votes yet the party went for little known Kenny Ntaote who had only 10 votes. The same pattern was seen in several other places.

However, prior to the press conference, RFP general secretary Nthati Moorosi had been inundated with party members demanding to know why popular candidates had failed to be shortlisted. She was at pains to explain that disgruntled elements were still valued by the party. Phamotse and others told journalists although they are not planning to leave the party, they wanted more openness and transparency in their new home.

“We decided to gather here and inform the press that has been calling us individually asking if we have left the party and would like to clarify that we are still part of the Revolution for Prosperity party and wish to win elections. Indeed, there are two to three participants that have left although they have not send letters of resignation,” said Phamotse.

Mohale-Lerata added that members should not be confused by what is happening now because that does not mean their aspirations will no longer be considered due to winning candidates not being chosen to lead constituencies. She said they are going to work hand in hand with selected candidates to improve their constituencies.

Phamotse said if there is a document or if leaders responded to this grievance the party will not lose more members and even those that have left would reconsider their position. According to Phamotse, RFP does not have political party internal rules and regulations yet which means all candidates have rights to host and address members with information that involves the party. No executive committee member nor Matekane himself attended the press briefing.

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