Basotho Action Party-ABC’s ‘demon’ spawn
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…Maqelepo calls for Mokhothu to take over as Prime Minister
By Pulane Chaka
From the womb of the All-Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho Action Party (BAP) was born and in just seconds even before its first cry, it is siphoning life out of its mother.
This bouncing baby, BAP, is not only new on the block but brags command over twenty members of the tenth parliament of Lesotho.
Its leader, former Minister of Justice Nqosa Mahao, who this morning officially launched BAP alongside some of the MPs who defected from ABC.
Professor Mahao said key among reasons for defecting from ABC to form BAP is the internecine conflicts that started when he first mentioned his desire to contest elections for the party’s deputy leader position in 2018.
Mahao said his new party holds a strong principle on promotion of good governance and rule of law and justice.
In the wake of forming his new party, Mahao was slapped with a dismissal letter by his Majesty the King acting on the advice of Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro.
Mahao, amid forming a new party had said he would not resign his justice ministerial post as he was at the centre of pivotal national reforms work where he was supposed to be tabling before the National Assembly of Lesotho a draft law produced by the National Reforms Authority.
Regardless, Majoro dismissed Mahao alongside Police Minister Mampoipone Senauoane, Minister of Forestry Motlatsi Maqelepo and Deputy Minister of Health, Nto Moakhi.
Senauoane, Maqelepo, and Moakhi joined Mahao and other members of parliament that included Fako Moshoeshoe, Libe Motsoane, Phamotse Molefi, Tebello Kibane, Sotlehang Sekhamane, Mphosi Nkhasi, Motebang Kamo, and former Health Minister Khaya Nyapane in their new outfit.
Maqelepo corroborated Mahao’s claims adding “our departure from ABC is prompted by unending infighting”.
Maqelepo said “It seemed as though whenever anyone mentioned politics, that was where there was the most fighting, and the wants and needs of the people are left forgotten”.
Mahao also states that a country cannot be democratic “where citizens do not want to engage in politics”.
Mahao went on to say state of affairs in ABC had deteriorated to a point where there was an assassination attempt on one of the party members while the party was convening at Lehakoe in 2019 for its leadership election.
“…while we were at Lehakoe, the lights were supposed to go off and bullets were supposed to fly. Luckily, the national security service agents knew about the whispers and they positioned themselves at all the places where the lights could have been switched off,” Mahao said.
Mahao said he would not disclose nuanced details about the assassination attempt as he does not want to taint anyone’s image as the new party takes off.
Mahao said he does not under any circumstances want to see himself led by Majoro any longer hence the formation of a new political party.
Mahao told multitudes that gathered at the premises of the Transformation Resource Centre they left ABC and they are leaving all arguments and infighting in ABC to much applause.
“It is as a result of much thinking and being patient for long. You know that these came to its height in 2019 and it was like at the end of the year differences would be reconciled and the party would start afresh and peace would reign. The party was as though it would return to return to the people to renew its social contract with the people.
“But then, there started a fresh conflict, which we also tried to be patient about until we realised that Basotho who had expectation are losing faith in the party. Not only were Basotho losing faith in ABC but in politics in general,” said Mahao.
Mahao said his colleagues decided that they patience has elapsed and the people have already decided to defect to other parties or retire from politics as it is dirty and they do not want to participate in politics anymore.
“It is for these reasons that they mandated me to lead them in this formation of a new political party,” Mahao said.
Mahao’s tribe calls for Mokhothu to takeover
In a much-circulated self-broadcast video on social media, Maqelepo implored for Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu to take over the reigns of power and assume the position of Prime Minister with Mahao as his deputy.
He starts by saying that in most instances Prime Minister Majoro paid a death ear to issues.
“It is your chance right now; we have failed as ABC. We had two Prime Ministers and they both failed in an embarrassing way.
“It is your chance, we will support you, take this this Premiership post when the time allows. But take it through legal means and not through conflict. Professor Nqosa Mahao will be your deputy Prime Minister,” said Maqelepo prior to the launch of the BAP.