ABCYL warns party rebels

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE youth league of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABCYL) says the party is intact and continues to grow in leaps and bounds despite the disaffection of some members and former members including businessman-turned-politician,  Teboho Mojapela, who has publicly attacked the party leader and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his wife, ’Maesaiah.

The ABCYL said this during this week’s press conference in Maseru which was called in the wake of recent allegations by current and former party members that the First Lady was exercising undue control in the party, resulting in tensions among the party faithful.

In the aftermath of the 3 June 2017 snap national elections, the ABC entered into a coalition agreement with the Moleleki Monyamane-led Alliance of Democrats, Thesele ‘Maseribane’s Basotho National Party and the Keketso Rantšo-led Reformed Congress of Lesotho.

This week, the ABCYL said that while the party and government remained intact and vibrant, some current and former ABC members had however, attempted to sow disaffection by spreading falsehoods about the Prime Minister and his wife.

“It has come to our realisation as the youth league that there are some cadres who are out on a smear campaign saying things that degrade our leader and his family on some radio stations,” the ABCYL’s spokesperson, Mphonyane Lebesa, said.

“We have a history of people who have spoken ill of our leader in the past until they left to start their own parties which all died natural deaths.”

Mr Lebesa gave examples of several former ABC members who left the party only to fail after forming their own parties.

He gave the examples of Lehlohonolo Tšehlana who left the ABC and formed Senkatana; Mophato Monyake who was the Stadium Area legislator and Minister of Correctional services before he left the ABC to form his Progressive Democrats party and Molobeli Soulo who was Minister in the Prime Minister’s office before joining the Lesotho Congress of Democracy (LCD).

He also cited the example of Tlali Khasu who was the deputy leader of ABC and Minister of Mines before he formed the True Reconciliation Unity (TRU) alongside Pitso Maisa who was the legislator for Motimposo and Minister in the Prime Minister’s office.

“Today we have another new kid on the block with no political capacity at all and that is Teboho Mojapela of the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR), who is also going around bad mouthing the Prime Minister. One wonders what he is all about because he doesn’t even have ABC membership. He helped our party just like all the other businessmen have done before.”

Mr Mojapela has been on a warpath with Dr Thabane and his wife, publicly insinuating that the First Lady had a hand in the murder of the Prime Minister’s former wife, Lipolelo.

Ms Lipolelo was shot dead by an unknown assailant as she was about to drive into her Ha ‘Masana home on 14 June 2017. The incident occurred just two days before Dr Thabane’s inauguration as prime minister.

A female companion of Ms Lipolelo also sustained serious injuries in the shooting.  Mr Mojapela unsuccessfully sought a court order to stop the police from summoning him to explain his allegations about the First Lady.

The ABCYL’s treasurer, Sekonyela Sepapane, also addressed the Tuesday press conference and accused some party rebels of “holding secret caucuses with other members to lure them into their rebelliousness against the leader,” adding, “and we are not going to take that lying down”.

“We therefore appeal to all party members to follow party protocol where they feel aggrieved instead of taking this useless route which is as good as riding on a tiger’s back.

“If at all they feel aggrieved or dissatisfied they should go back to their constituency committees and lodge their complaints there,” Mr Sepapane said.

He also said the office of the Secretary General had issued a circular announcing that the ABC would host a conference on the state of the party next month.

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