Mahao jumps ship and forms new party

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…pact with his ‘deputy’ Mapesela collapses before the new party takes off

By Mamello Mosaefane

All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s Deputy Leader Professor Nqosa Mahao has jumped ship to form a new party with disgruntled party members of parliament whose number has not been disclosed.

But Mahao’s move to form a new party has been surrounded by controversy as his first order of business had to be disciplining a ‘loud-mouthed’ Tefo Mapesela, the Mokhotlong constituency legislator, but that backfired and ended their pact.

Mahao and Mapesela could not agree on the new party’s name and slogans after Mapesela had gone ahead to allegedly print 20 000 campaign T-shirts using slogans and names of his own choice, payment for studios to produce new party songs.

Furthermore, some members of parliament who had been courted by Mapesela argued that their leader is Mapesela and not Mahao after he said he had sent Mapesela to go and announce the formation of the new party to test the waters.

Amid the new tensions resulting in Mapesela saying he has severed ties between his own party he calls Mok’honto and that which Mahao is forming, the Professor still sounds optimistic that their relations will be mended.

His differences with Mahao had also been centered around Mapesela’s demands for Mahao to resign as a Minister in cabinet while Mahao said he would wait to be fired as he is central to the reforms legislations which are of paramount interest to the public.

Maesiah vying to oust Mapesela in Mokhotlong

KDNews understands that a new party formation was announced by Mapesela on Monday this week after the spouse of the ABC leader, Maesaih Thabane had shown up in his Mokhotlong constituency to hand over donations to the destitute while also playing party songs.

Maesaih has recently announced her intentions to challenge Mapesela and take over as the ABC candidate to contest the 2022 elections.

She had previously used her position as the first lady to focus her philanthropic work in Mokhotlong in preparation for a hostile takeover of the party candidacy from Mapesele whom they were not seeing eye to eye with.

Prime Minister Majoro, prior to firing Mapesela from his ministerial post in the Ministry of Agriculture had a disagreement over Majoro’s attendance of a feast at former Prime Minister and ABC leader Thomas Thabane’s house in Makhoakhoeng in the Abia constituency.

Mapesela was enraged by Majoro’s attendance at the feast which he described as selling them out to Maesaiah whom he said they had fought Thabane to retire because he had delegated power to his wife.

Mapesela had said Majoro would answer why he sold them out to a clique in the party seen in Thabane’s inner circle and controlled by Maesaih.

This prompted Majoro to fire Mapesela.

New party

Mapesela said by attending the feast without inviting a group of MPs that supported Majoro’s premiership, Majoro got initiated into Maesiah’s clique and left them out in the cold.

KDNews also understands that at the feast it was further plotted that the party’s deputy leader would be suspended from his position and later on be denied a chance to contest elections as an ABC candidate.

Mahao said a plot was hatched at the feast that Majoro attended is a reason why he is leaving the ABC to form a new party.

He said the nefarious plot was to end his political career at its infancy by using dirty tactics to deny him a chance to contest elections in 2020.

Mahao said other reasons for leaving the ABC which he said had a good image that gained it majority votes at the 2017 elections are that it ended being tarnished by a corrupt clique holding on to the party for their personal interests.

“It’s image, however, got tarnished by Lipolelo’s death (former Thabane second spouse), the wool and mohair problems, and letting the Chinese control Lesotho’s economy are some reasons we are leaving the ABC,” Mahao said.

Mahao further said the foregoing are major issues that got ABC image tarnished, leaving many Basotho struggling and some going for illegal mining in South Africa for survival.

Mahao has today said the new party under formulation is receiving a positive response from interested supporters and members.

Amid the tension between his followers and Mapesela, Mahao has said he is still hopeful that they will mend their differences and form a formidable party that will be part of government.

He said the party’s recruiters with be visible in major towns across the country to register members.

He said membership forms and cards are already in preparation.

On whether he would be resigning his post as a minister, Mahao confidently said they are already fully in government, given the number of MPs and ministers that joined the party leaving the ABC.

Responding to the certainty of the party’s success, Mahao said the new party is a “mass” movement, a rebellion of masses of people who have been dissatisfied and choose liberation.

Meanwhile, amid soured relations with the Mahao faction, Mapesela is also busy with his group forming a new party.

Mapesela was the first to defect from ABC and forming a new party that is referred to as Mok’honto.

Mapesela said he will be representing his new party in Mokhotlong come 2022 general elections, while the former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane will represent ABC and he will emerge victoriously.

Mapesela has also taunted Maesiah that he will emerge the winner in Mokhotlong because the people who guaranteed him as an ABC candidate victory in 2017 were never voting him into office because of her husband, the ABC leader Thabane.

But the ABC’s Mokhotlong constituency committee chairperson, Serame Tsatsi, has said Mokhotlong constituency belongs to ABC and it will stick with it.

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