ALLIANCE of Democrats (AD) leader, Monyane Moleleki, has hailed his harmonious working relationship with Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, and the other coalition partners whom he says he used to hate with a passion akin to that of the biblical Saul.
Mr Moleleki who is deputy prime minister in Dr Thabane’s coalition, said this at a press conference which he called to announce the dissolution of the AD youth league in Maseru this week.
Mr Moleleki left his position as deputy leader of the-then ruling Democratic Congress (DC) and formed the AD in December 2016 after falling out with the party leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, over several issues including the latter’s alleged failure to deal with corruption in the party and in government.
Mr Moleleki’s AD subsequently teamed with Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), the Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho to pass a vote of no confidence in the-then Mosisili-led seven parties’ coalition government in March 2017.
This led to the 3 June 2017 snap elections, after Dr Mosisili circumvented his ouster by dissolving Parliament, which ushered in the four party administration led by Dr Thabane.
Speaking on Monday, Mr Moleleki likened himself to the biblical Saul (later known as the Apostle Paul) who initially haboured an intense hatred of Christians before his conversion to Christianity.
He thanked the outgoing AD youth committee for leading the way in achieving reconciliation with his erstwhile political foes, saying, ““Had it not been for the youth of this country we would still be stuck in our hatred”.
“I was like Saul from the bible and I was by far the worst culprit with my hatred for the All Basotho Convention, the Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho and others. But today we have by far the best 4×4 government.
“I am now converted and working harmoniously with all of them,” Mr Moleleki said.
Mr Moleleki has previously been forced to publicly defend himself against claims that he was at odds with his coalition partners over various policy issues.
His previous pronouncements on the need for a general amnesty for those who committed crimes that fueled instability in the country as well as his call for a government of national unity were taken by some observers as an indication that all was not well in the current government. Mr Moleleki has nevertheless moved to clear the air. He insists that there is no policy discord in the government and he is committed to ensuring that the government lasts its five year term.
Meanwhile, the AD youth league committee has been dissolved with immediate effect.
Mr Moleleki said this was done to enable the party to pursue its vigorous strategies to engage the youth in development programmes which would capacitate them on political issues after which they would then elect their substantive committee.
The disbanded committee had been chosen on an interim basis after the party’s formation in 2016.
“We have decided to disband our national youth league committee and the reason being that we are starting an educational political programme to give the youths an opportunity to learn by observation and by experiencing the processes of elections of committees from the branches up to the national executive committee.
“The second reason we are doing this is so that come 2022 when the country goes for general elections, the youths who are currently aged 15 to 17 will be old enough and politically well-educated with the training that they will have been exposed to by the NEC,” Mr Moleleki said.
He said the youth would be afforded the opportunity to observe various party elections including those of the national women’s league executive committee.