TWELVE All Basotho Convention (ABC) legislators from the Berea district have pledged their allegiance to party leader Thomas Thabane and shot down rumours they would follow former deputy leader, Tlali Khasu.
Addressing a press conference held in Teyateyaneng on Tuesday, the members of parliament (MPs) said they were part of the ABC fold “through thick and thin”.
The legislators included Bela-Bela constituency MP Litšoane Litšoane, Mosalemane constituency legislator Sam Rapapa, Lefu Hlomelang (’Makhoroana), Leshoboro Mohlajoa (Malimong), Habofanoe Lehana (Khafung), Prince Maliehe (Teya-Teyaneng), Tsoeu Molise (Tsoana-Makhulo), Afrika Makakane (Thupa-Kubu), Monaphathi Maraka (Berea), Likopo Mahase (Khubetsoana), Moshoeshoe Fako (Mabote) and proportional representation MP Mamandla Muza.
This was after Mr Khasu parted ways with the ABC last month after losing a protracted court battle to revoke his suspension from the party’s National Executive Committee.
The Peka constituency legislator was suspended for three months by Dr Thabane on 17 September 2016 for criticising the former premier on a radio station over his decision appoint himself the official leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.
In announcing his departure, Mr Khasu said he would not leave the ABC to form a new political party alone, adding there were “many others” within the party who were “tired of the persecution and want to leave the party”.
Mr Litšoane said they were wholeheartedly standing by Dr Thabane and would not leave the party with Mr Khasu.
“There are unfounded claims that some of us, MPs from the Berea district, will be defecting from the ABC to a new party with our former deputy leader Ntate Khasu. Such claims are false and intended to taint our image. We stand by and support our leader and our party through thick and thin,” he said.
“We will not be bought by any party seeking to use us when parliament reconvenes. We vow to stand by the ABC to the end.”
The legislators also took turns to lambast Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government for its alleged service delivery failures.
Mr Maliehe, who is also a former Trade and Industry deputy minister, said Dr Mosisili had failed since 2014 to deliver on his promise to construct textile factories in the Berea District.
“We already have all the plans in place and we know that the LNDC (Lesotho National Development Corporation) has already allocated a site for the erection of factory shells in our district, but there has not been any funds to date allocated for the construction of the factory shells for textile factories,” said Mr Maliehe.
Mr Rapapa said there was lack of progress in the rural electrification plan for the northern districts that include Berea.