Majoro, Thabane’s anointed deputy
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By Mamello Mosaefane
All Basotho Convention (ABC) leadership, today anointed Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro as its new Deputy leader.
Dr. Majoro’s anointment brings to end infighting that had wreaked havoc within the party since the election of Professor Nqosa Mahao as the party’s deputy leader.
Last week, two splinter parties birthed by ABC after protracted jostling for power were unveiled to much pomp and fanfare by disgruntled party members.
Some of the disgruntled members joining the newly formed parties went as far as burning the ABC’s regalia and ululating at the announcement of new parties.
One of the parties, Basotho Action Party (BAP) was last week Friday launched by Mahao who was also Minister of Justice in Majoro’s cabinet.
Prior to Mahao’s party launch, Tefo Mapesela, the Mokhotlong constituency legislator that Majoro had fired from the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture and Food Security also announced the formation of a new party named Basotho Progressive Party (BPP).
Mapesela’s relations with Majoro soured following his attendance at a feast at former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane home in Makhoakhoeng.
Mapesela told Majoro he had abdicated his allegiance to ABC members of parliament that he referred to as Mok’honto by attending the Makhoakhoeng feast without their prior approval.
Majoro’s anointment was announced at a press briefing held at the new State House building with the names of 35 members of parliament of the ABC announced by Secretary-General Lebohang Hlaele.
Some of the legislators were present, safe for Local government minister Sam Rapapa and Social development minister Matebatso Doti. Rapapa and Doti were said to have had prior pressing government engagements.
Party leader, Thomas Thabane, former Prime Minister, said he is an old man and needs to be retired and Majoro must take over and lead the as his deputy.
Thabane also gave Majoro a handshake and an embrace.
Majoro’s appointment, according to ABC secretary-general, Lebohang Hlaele, came after a meeting with three major committees; the National Executive Committee, Youth and women’s league executive committees.
Yesterday the party had a joint meeting of its national executive committee members and its party parliamentarian’s caucus.
Hlaele told multitudes attending Statehouse held briefing Majoro’s appointment will do good for ABC’s growth.
“He will not be isolated from NEC’s meetings and decisions and agenda of the party,” he said.
He also said Majoro is a good candidate for the position as he will be much involved in the NEC decisions.
Hlaele said the party leadership has decided to forget and put behind the differences in the best interest of uniting the party and “never dwell on conflicts as they yielded nothing from them”.
“We decided yesterday that we leave behind what’s in the past and prioritize ABC. It must be ABC first and peacebuilding,” Hlaele said.
He added, “we must tell only the truth and open up on issues, but within the confines of the party constitution”.
Hlaele said now that the party is united at a time when the covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, they will work on assembling the party at a general conference to chart a way forward towards the 2022 elections now that Thabane has indicated he wants to retire.
Majoro embraced his new appointment and said it comes as much relief as there will now be a synergy between the government and the ruling party with him as part and parcel of the national executive committee of the ABC.
He said the conditions where a sitting Prime Minister was not part of the party leadership brought both instabilities to the government and the ABC and that must never happen in the ABC again.
“What a relief, I am grateful for the opportunity, even though it comes at the time when ABC is going through tough times of losing some members of the party who are also Members of Parliament and held even ministerial positions.
“It is baffling that we have survived severe conflicts for the past years, but these people (MPs) decide to defect at a time when the party is peaceful,” said Majoro.
Majoro called for party legislators who defected to the new parties BAP and BPP to “calm down and return to ABC”.
He also added his not being part of the national executive committee makes the party lose its momentum as they sometimes speak publicly on different tunes.
Majoro said he is not new to being part of the national executive committee as he has served the party prior to the February 2019 elections.
He said he is familiar with how the national executive committee operates and he will carry his responsibilities with ease as the new deputy leader.
The party deputy chairperson, Chalane Phori, emphasized that Majoro is the best candidate for the deputy leadership position as he was a run-up to Mahao in the party’s February 2019 elections.
“Just a reminder: Dr. Majoro came after Mahao in numbers at the Lehakoe national executive committee elections,” Phori said.