Another MP ditches ABC

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MASERU-An All Basotho Convention (ABC) MP defected to the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) this week.

Nkhets’e Monyalotsa who represents Maputsoe Constituency in the National Assembly crossed the floor during Tuesday’s parliamentary session this week.

Monyalotsa said he had crossed the floor because he was tired of the maladministration in the ABC under Tom Thabane.

He said Thabane’s leadership style and management of Lesotho’s largest opposition party was “diabolical”.

He also accused Thabane of personalising the party.

Monyalotsa becomes the third ABC legislator to leave the party within the past six months.

The party’s deputy secretary for publicist Lehlohonolo Ts’ehlana left the party in October last year to form his Senkatana Party.

The Mokhotlong legislator had serious battles with Thabane who he accused of “running the party like his personal property”.

The MP for Lithoteng, Eliabe Mokhanoi, also left the ABC early this year to join Ts’ehlana’s Senkatana.

He accused Thabane of interfering in his constituency.

Monyalotsa’s defection leaves the ABC with 14 MPs in the National Assembly.

The LCD now has 63 MPs in parliament up from 62.

Monyalotsa defection to the ruling party was greeted with applause from the LCD back-benchers.

Sporting a grey checked suit, a blue shirt and a stripped tie with assorted colours Monyalotsa was in a spirited mood as he told journalists outside parliament how his defection had come about.

“The style of leadership and administration of ABC is diabolical,” Monyalotsa said.

He said Thabane had tried to block his participation in the 2007 general election by refusing to give him the nomination forms.

He said he had to resort to court battles before he was allowed to contest the Maputsoe seat on an ABC ticket.

“When I went to get the nomination forms to contest the 2007 general elections the party leader Thabane told me that there was no way I could stand for elections in that constituency,” said Monyalotsa.

“He wanted Mokholane Pita with whom he had crossed into ABC to contest in that constituency.”

He told journalists that when he tried to protest Thabane told him that the ABC was his party.

“I decided to go to court and the court ruled in my favour.”

Monyalotsa said at one time after talking to the ABC leader someone was sent with an envelope containing his membership fee.

“I was handed my M1.00 subscription fee and told that I was no longer a member of the party.”

Monyalotsa said the party’s national executive committee had also tried to block his nomination by the speaker of parliament to be part of Lesotho’s delegation to India.

“They said it was the role of parties to choose their members to participate in delegations and not the Speaker’s.”

He defied the party’s leadership and joined the delegation to India.

“Why should I have declined that offer when there were more than 10 ABC MPs who had been included in previous parliamentary delegations abroad?”

He said the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the ABC leadership sent a delegation to Maputsoe to organise meetings to elect a constituency committee without informing the incumbent constituency committee last Saturday.

Asked whether he had been enticed by the LCD, Monyalotsa said he “had not been bought”.

“I have not been enticed.”

Asked whether he had been promised a position in the LCD government Monyalotsa said he said the decision was made out of personal conviction.

ABC secretary-general Macaefa Billy said Monyalotsa’s move was long overdue.

“We thought it would be earlier than this. Since he came to parliament he has shown no cooperation despite our attempts to talk to him,” he said.

Billy accused Monyalotsa of being more obsessed with his personal fights with Thabane than serving the party.

“The constituency belongs to the ABC. Monyalotsa had split the constituency into two factions. There is no committee there hence the leadership is taking care of affairs there. Like Lehlohonolo Ts’ehlana, he is the shadow of himself,” Billy said.

In a Radio Lesotho current affairs programme Seboping yesterday morning, Thabane said Monyalosa’s defection had brought relief to the ABC.

“His departure is a relief rather than a loss”, he said.

He said Monyalotsa had been “imposed by court”.

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