ABC splits in Parliament

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As new leader cross floor to crossbench while Prime Minister Majoro and 20 other stays in Gov’t.

Itumeleng Koleile and Lerema Pheea

Twelve Members of Parliament of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) today Crossed the floor in Parliament in a move that split ABC into two pieces as Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro supporting legislators stayed in government benches.

The floor crossing by ABC’s new leader Nkaku Kabi to the Cross Benches signifies the height of the infighting in the party over the Prime Minister post that Majoro continues to occupy amid losing leadership contests within the party.

Kabi told Deputy Speaker Lebohang Ramohlanka that they are crossing the floor to the crossbench today noting the ABC is no longer a partner to the coalition government it entered into with Democratic Congress (DC) in 2020.

Deputy Speaker Ramohlanka notifying the house of the floor crossing is still in the hands of the Parliamentary Business Committee and matters arising from the letter would only be dealt with on Friday.

Thereafter the house resumed its scheduled daily business.

As the house was going on with the business for the day, former ABC leader, Motsoahae Thomas Thabane made a point of order and argued the business of the day would not go on as the ABC is no longer part of the coalition government”.

He said the ABC and those who are affiliated with it would like to go to the crossbench as they are no longer part of the government, resulting in the exodus of the twelve ABC MPs led by Kabi and Thabane.

The haphazard and persistence of the ABC legislators to cross the floor with or without Speaker’s ruling irked former DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili who told the house that the right procedure was not followed.

Mosisili said the ABC members who moved to the crossbench ought to have waited for the Speaker to make a ruling favouring that they should cross the floor.

“The correct order is that honourable members who have just moved to the crossbench were supposed to have waited for you to direct that they do so,” he said.

He added that it is wrong of the members to have moved on their own accord.

The Deputy Speaker responded that Mosisili was correct and that told the ABC members who crossed the floor their actions was flawed and violated the procedure.

“It is true that the correct procedure is that members have to await an order from the speaker to be able to move to the crossbench,” she said.

However, as the house was supposed to move onto the next item for the day, some members of the house who have just moved to the crossbench disrupted the house.

Prince Maliehe, ABC stalwart and former Treasurer and Deputy leader told the house that they will disrupt the house proceedings until what they are saying is heard.

“We will disrupt the house until it is clear which parties the members of the ABC who have not moved to the crossbench belong to,” said Maliehe in reference to the Pro Majoro faction that remained on government benches.

Moreover, Chalene Phori, the ABC’s deputy Chairperson said they would not let the business of the day go on with the government that is non-existent.

“When the ABC and DC formed a coalition government, a letter was given to you by both parties, Madam Speaker.

“We will not let you have the government funds and govern us with the non-existent government,” Phori said.

Phori argued that the truth is that the ABC has withdrawn from the government as it has written a letter to the Speaker about its withdrawal from the Government led by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.

The house proceedings were disrupted until the house went on recess owing to what Deputy Speaker Ramohlanka termed a technical problem to connect with MPs connected virtually to the house proceedings.